Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Happy New Year – and here’s the bill, says the Government

Maryan STREET
Health Spokesperson

1 January 2013MEDIA STATEMENT

Happy New Year – and here’s the bill, says the Government

The Government’s New Year ‘gift’ to Kiwis – the first prescription fee hike in 20 years – kicks in today, placing more financial stress on those who can least afford it, Labour’s Health spokesperson Maryan Street says.

“A $2 rise might not sound a lot, but to people on low incomes – single parents, families struggling on the minimum wage - it will have a significant impact.

“Tony Ryall, of course, is quick to point out that the charge is capped to a maximum 20 items per family. What he fails to acknowledge is that while he might be able to afford $100 a year on his salary - as I can - the effect of a 66 per cent increase on those with little money just adds to their burden.

“A recent report revealed many people do not realise that they can get medicines free after they reach that 20 item threshold, so many poorer, chronically ill people are unknowingly paying far more than they should be. This increase to $5 an item will see them paying even more.

“We also know that cost prevents people picking up their prescriptions – in the last year around 267,000 adults said they didn’t get a script filled because of the (then) $3 charge. That in turn means some health problems are going untreated, resulting in higher costs to everybody down the track and undoubtedly a factor in the extra 4000 children admitted to hospital this year compared to last.

“This is a false economy and Tony Ryall should rethink it. At the least he should hold off until pharmacists have access to a universal IT system which allows people to check how many items they have picked up during the course of a year.

“At present there is no way of knowing that, especially when different pharmacies are used.

“Dumping this price rise in the middle of the holiday season and at the start of a new year is a pretty cynical move by a Government hell bent on getting as much money out of families as it can, in order to offset its own deficit,” said Maryan Street.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Anne Tolley’s
Callous Folly

Years ago, I remember someone in the Heath Ministry telling me off the record that regulatory oversight in this country largely consisted in ‘waiting for something to turn green or fall off somebody’ before the authorities would swing into action...

Last week’s conflict between Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and District Court judge Carolyn Henwood illustrated quite a few of the flaws in the system. More>>

 

Members’ Bills: Greens' Domestic Violence And Loans Bills Pulled From Ballot

Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims' Protection Bill introduces workplace protections for victims of domestic violence, including allowing victims to request paid domestic violence leave for up to 10 days... Gareth Hughes’ Bill allows Kiwis with student loans to defer their student loan repayments into a first home savings scheme. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Did Not 'Deliberately' Use Pepper Spray On 10-Year-Old

"When spraying the man, the officer did not properly consider the necessity of using pepper spray in a confined space, the likelihood that it would affect the other innocent passengers or the fact that he was using a more powerful spray." More>>

ALSO:

Donor Bill Passes: Full Income Compensation For Live Organ Donors

Unanimous cross-party support for the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill represents a critical step in reducing the burgeoning waiting list for kidney donations, according to Kidney Health New Zealand chief executive Max Reid. More>>

ALSO:

Earthquake Response: Emergency Legislation Prepared

Three new Bills have been drafted in the wake of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 to ensure the government can enable affected communities to respond quickly and efficiently. More>>

ALSO:

Housing MPs: New Building(s) For Parliament

A new building will be erected on Parliament grounds to house Members of Parliament and their staff who currently work in leased accommodation in Bowen House. The plan has cross-Party support, apart from NZ First, said Parliament’s Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news