Parliament

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

 

Better deal for glasses will save millions

Better deal for glasses will save millions

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says people using hardship assistance are in line to pay less for glasses and other optical services as a result of a new preferred supplier arrangement with opticians.

“We’re trying to keep people’s debt as low as possible, while at the same time ensuring they are still receiving cost effective optical goods and services that meet their clinical needs.

Mrs Bennett says the deal is also good news for the taxpayer.

“This initiative will see collectively less debt of around $21 million over five years for beneficiaries, pensioners and low income people as a result of this new preferred supplier arrangement.

“At the moment, the Ministry of Social Development lends about $8.7 million each year to people to buy glasses and other optical services through hardship grants that have to be repaid. The average amount lent is more than $500.00.

“The preferred supplier arrangement offers a discounted price for people eligible for this help, which in turn will see the bill to the taxpayer shrink, along with the debt the beneficiary has to repay,” she says.

The goods and services that come under the preferred supplier arrangement include fixed-cost eye examinations and the fitting of glasses frames and lenses. All new eye wear will be covered by a two year warranty.

The range of preferred suppliers will provide coverage across the country.

People can continue to use their current supplier for their ongoing eye care needs if they choose to use their own resources.

The rollout of the preferred supplier arrangement for optical goods and services will begin in May, with the whole country covered by the end of June 2014.
The preferred supplier agreements include the following suppliers:
Barrington Eye Care (independent)
Eye Pro Marketing (consortium bid covering 46 locations)
John O’Connor Optometrists (independent with three locations in Auckland)
The University of Auckland (independent with two locations in Auckland)
Visique (91 locations)
Specsavers (53 locations)

“The preferred supplier agreement on optical services is part of a wider programme to secure competitively priced goods and services for beneficiaries and achieve value for money in the welfare area,” says Mrs Bennett.

A preferred supplier arrangement for whiteware has already been rolled out successfully throughout New Zealand.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

In the end, Mr Pragmatic calmly read the signs of impending defeat and went out on his own terms. You could use any number of clichés to describe Peter Dunne’s exit from Parliament.

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election