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

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system.

To all intents and purposes, access by New Zealanders to the Privy Council has now been closed. Yet the number of times in recent years when the Privy Council has quashed the findings of New Zealand courts has demonstrated that we are regularly
(a) jailing the wrong person or
(b) arriving at guilty verdicts on grounds sufficiently flawed as to raise serious doubts that a miscarriage of justice has occurred. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news