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Lake Alice deal: Cabinet knew

Lake Alice deal: Cabinet knew

National’s Associate Health spokesman (Mental Health), Dr Jonathan Coleman, says Michael Cullen has admitted that the decision to withhold some of the compensation awarded to claimants as a result of the inquiry into Lake Alice Hospital was made at the highest level.

In Parliament today, Dr Coleman asked the Attorney-General who made the decision to withhold $35,000 from the compensation awarded to Paul Zentfeld, and whether that person (or persons) ordered similar amounts to be withheld from the 87 other second-round claimants in the Lake Alice case.

Dr Cullen replied that he couldn't be certain, but his recollection was that it was a collective decision of Cabinet, not a decision by an individual minister.

"Finally the Government has admitted the role of Cabinet in this secret deal,” says Dr Coleman.

“I also note that Dr Cullen didn’t deny withholding similar amounts from the 87 other second-round claimants in the case.

"Cabinet Ministers are in this right up to their necks. It's time they did more than pay lip service on this issue – they should pay the Lake Alice claimants the money they are due,” says Dr Coleman.

Ends

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