Minister of Senior Citizens not an advocate
Minister of Senior Citizens confirms he does not advocate
This year’s Budget dealt a serious blow to older New Zealanders, and today Minister of Senior Citizens John Carter confirmed he had not discussed budget cutbacks with his colleagues, Labour Senior Citizens spokesperson Ross Robertson says.
“Older New Zealanders aren’t greedy - they just want a fair go, a comfortable secure retirement, and to know that people in Government are advocating for them. But today we discovered John Carter is more interested in platitudes than practical steps to help seniors,” Ross Robertson said.
“Today, while appearing before a select committee, John Carter confirmed that he did not discuss budget cutbacks with his colleagues, and when asked about the serious cutbacks happening to home-help services for elderly, the Minister refused to discuss the subject, instead relying on National Party select committee member Todd McClay prompting the chair to close down questions.
“If the Minister for Senior Citizens isn’t prepared to answer questions about something as serious as the home support cuts that have affected thousands of elderly in New Zealand then serious questions need to be asked about his competency.
“So far seniors have already had cutbacks to home support services. Surgeons have said ACC is declining more people for surgery based on their age, safe driver training programmes for elderly have been axed, ACC has scrapped falls prevention programmes that aim to keep elderly safe at home, and seniors have had major barriers to accessing ongoing education put in their way.
“The Budget is going to increase GST and elderly are not going to be compensated for that in the long-term.
“A study released by Age Concern in March this year said that one in 13 persons over the age of 65 did not have enough money to meet their everyday needs,” said Ross Robertson.