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


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

Health Spokesperson


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.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Deal Reached In Atlanta

Yes, the TPP has helped to knock a few points off the tariffs facing our exporters. Yet some of those alleged dollar gains may well have been made regardless over time – and without the negative baggage of the concessions in the non-trade areas (intellectual property, copyright extensions, investor-state dispute mechanisms etc) that the TPP deal also brings in its wake. More>> (Cartoon by Dave Wolland)

Public Summaries:


Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Pre-Signing: Gordon Campbell On The TPP Countdown

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news