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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Labour: New Figures Show Speculators Rampant

New figures released by the Reserve Bank show there’s been an explosion in mortgage lending with most of the growth going to property investors, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

False Official Information Response: English's Apology Accepted

Finance Minister Bill English is being thanked for his apology to New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters... Mr English says his staff and the Treasury have searched again, and they found the document that they denied having. More>>

ALSO:

Midwives On Pay Equity: Historic Bill Of Rights Case For High Court

“We have been left with no choice.” That from Karen Guilliland, the Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives, as the organisation prepares to file a pay parity discrimination case on the basis of gender under the NZ Bill of Rights Act in the High Court. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Children’s Commission Report On CYF

Accusing the overworked and underfunded staff at Child, Youth and Family of a “dump and run culture of neglect” is the kind of luxury that a Children’s Commissioner can afford to indulge in from his own comfy perch in the bureaucracy. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Eden Prison: Serco Inquiry Extended

A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news