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Paying properly for aged care

23 May 2006

Paying properly for aged care

The sums set aside in the Budget to boost the wages of those who care for the elderly amounts to 'peanuts', Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

Ms Kedgley called on Government to give a substantial wage boost to those who care for elderly New Zealanders, whether that be for workers providing support services for the aged still living at home, or for those in residential care.

The Green Party is supporting a campaign being launched at Parliament today by the Nurses Organisation to increase wages for care givers in the aged care sector.

"It is time the government stopped being stingy, and ensured fair wages for care givers who look after our vulnerable elderly population, " Ms Kedgley said.

"These care givers desperately need a pay rise. Their wages are so pitiful, there are extraordinarily high turnover rates in the aged care sector, and the turnover rates are affecting the quality of care received by elderly New Zealanders.

"It is affecting the safety and quality of care of all elderly New Zealanders, and the government should be giving priority to improving conditions in the aged care sector, as it promised it would," Ms Kedgley said.

"Frankly, I think it is an insult that this Budget would allow a wage increase for care givers in the aged care sector of only 51 cents an hour, or $14.50 cents a week for thirty hours work," Ms Kedgley said.

Care givers in the aged care sector desperately need due recognition, and the Green Party is calling on the Government to give them a substantial wage boost."

ENDS

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