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Progressive policy launch for seniors

17 August 2005

Hon Jim Anderton MP, Progressive Leader

$200 for winter power bills and incremental Super increases: Progressive policy launch for seniors

While the country is experiencing the strongest sustained period of growth in the working life of anyone in the workforce today, our senior citizens are entitled to ask, 'where is our share'? Jim Anderton said to the Christchurch Greypower meeting in Christchurch today where he launched the Progressive policy for senior citizens.

"I'm pleased to be able to launch the Progressive policy pack for seniors here today. One of the most pressing needs for older people, is for warmer homes during winter.

"Progressive is campaigning for a $200 winter power supplement for superannuitants. We can't sit by and let older people worry about turning on the heater because they're worried about the bill.

"In a new coalition, Progressive will push for an increase in superannuation. It is very expensive to do, and impossible to achieve if National brings in indiscriminate income tax cuts. But our seniors deserve to share in our economic gains.

"The base rate should increase regularly - and as a start, by at least one percent as a proportion of the average wage, from the current 65 percent to 66 percent.

"Progressive worked hard inside government to bring in cheaper visits to the GP for over 65s. We've won that, but there are still many financial obstacles for many people in accessing primary health care. The next step is to reduce the barriers to medicine.

"Progressive wants charges for prescription medicines removed, for senior citizens and those under 18, so you can pick up your prescription without any concern about where the money is coming from.

"We believe these policies, combined with the recently won rates rebate of up to $500 will make a significant and positive difference for our senior citizens," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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