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National will slash health to fund tax cuts

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Financea

11 August 2005 Media Statement

National will slash health services to fund tax cuts

National’s plans to axe the $26 subsidy for doctors’ visits is proof that tax cuts can only be afforded through cuts to core government services, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

The government is rolling out the $26 subsidy along with $3 prescriptions to all New Zealanders. Currently everyone under 25 and over 64 is eligible. Next July, those aged 45 to 64 years become eligible. The following year, the subsidies will be extended to every New Zealander under Labour’s plans.

“All this would be sacrificed by National to fund tax cuts,” Dr Cullen said.

“We’ve already seen National water down plans for defence spending. They will spend much less than Labour in tertiary education, with higher fees and lower student support. Now, they’re admitting that frontline health services will also slashed.

“The same Don Brash who finds it unacceptable that the state should subsidise his health care, finds it highly acceptable that he should get a whopping great tax cut at the expense of many middle New Zealand families’ health costs.

“National’s tax cuts will come at a price, especially for the most frail and vulnerable New Zealanders,” he said.

ENDS

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