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Don Brash pledges extra help for aged care

Don Brash MP
National Party Leader

12 April 2005

Don Brash pledges extra help for aged care

National Party Leader Don Brash has told the Grey Power annual meeting today there will be extra help to address the crisis in aged care under a National Government.

“Our immediate priority is to ensure there is adequate funding for elders in care in the disability services budget - a step that Labour has only started to think about now that major rest home operators have started closing their doors.

“Aged care facilities are currently grossly under funded. Small operators are starting to close their doors - 37 in the last three years. As the financial squeeze becomes more intense, the quality of care inevitably gets reduced.

“I can tell you now that dealing with this area of aged care facilities will be National’s main focus in relation to senior citizens, and I fully understand that there will be very significant additional spending in this area. I am sure that, after a long and totally unnecessary delay, more funding will become available in the Labour Government’s next budget. That funding increase will happen this year only because this is an election year.”

Dr Brash says National will address the critical issues of welfare dependency, Treaty grievances, education, law and order and taxation.

“This is not about whether the outlook this year or next is good, average, or poor - it is about the broad direction this country is headed, about the sort of nation we are building.

“Too many of our children and grandchildren are leaving New Zealand - joining the drift to Australia and other more favourable environments. That’s why Labour has been pushing immigration so hard - to top up the tub because too many younger New Zealanders can’t see a future in their home country.

“That is not the way to build a nation unified by common values and purpose. It will change our society more comprehensively, and certainly more rapidly, than most of us want. And in my opinion faster than is desirable,” said Dr Brash.

“I know that representatives of some of the small political parties will come along here and try to buy your vote with offers to increase the rate of super, eliminate asset testing altogether, control electricity prices, and whatever else might occur to them.

“Of course, they can’t guarantee to deliver their end of the bargain. They make promises they are in no position to honour - and they will always have somebody else to blame for their failure.

“What they’re offering is fool’s gold. And you’re not fools. National offers a comprehensive plan to secure New Zealand’s future and thereby provide us all security in retirement,” Dr Brash said.

Ends

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