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Government Abandons Southern War Vets

Media Release
23 May 2005

Government Abandons Southern War Vets

New Zealand First veterans affairs spokesperson Bill Gudgeon is calling on the Government to ensure that home and hospital services for war veterans in Dunedin are not jeopardised by funding shortfalls.

The Government is refusing to provide $2 million in funding to rebuild Dunedin’s Montecillo war veterans home and hospital, which could compromise the provision of health services to veterans in Otago and Southland.

“The Government must take better care of war veterans’ health needs,” said Mr Gudgeon.

“It seems that Montecillo is the first victim of the next round of restrictions on social services spending and the situation is only going to get worse unless the Government reassesses its priorities and efforts in taking care of our war veterans.

“The nation has a special obligation to our veterans. They made huge sacrifices for this country and many suffered as a result of their service.

“It is obvious that the Government needs to expand resources for aged care so that we can provide our veterans with better living conditions, improved health care services and a higher pension than they currently receive.

“The Government pretends to be committed to honouring our veterans but leaves them in the lurch when funding is required for the basic health services they need. It is high time Labour honoured its commitment,” concluded Mr Gudgeon.


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