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Income And Asset Testing Inhumane


Income And Asset Testing

Is This The Way We Treat Our Vulnerable Elderly And Our Returned Service Personal?

Grey Power opposes income and asset testing because it is inhumane and oppressive to persecute frail older New Zealanders in hospital for their assets in the last months of their lives - and that is exactly what the asset testing policy does.

Grey Power and RSA members are questioning the effects of the Social Security Act No 3 and its implication for the tradition and values of elderly New Zealanders.

George Drain, Nelson Grey Power's founding President, his foresight and his vision put in place the foundation for an organisation to represent and support the elderly against discrimination by Governments. Surtax at the time was the target, his leadership and determination was to be the formula for growth. He would not have stood by and allowed this Government or any other Government to have discriminated against our elderly.

We as members are mindful and without being cynical or apologetic Grey Power built its foundation on the need to protect the elderly from discrimination from the Government's policies attacking the soft under-belly of society. Our members and our future need this assurance.

In keeping with Politicians and Prime Ministers' earlier commitments and criticisms, Grey Power election strategy 2008 has called on the Government to remove the imposition imposed on our elderly when required to go into rest home care. The association has a moral obligation under our objectives to vigorously campaign for its removal. It is an attack on property rights, is contrary to the human rights act. The chief ombudsman's confirmed this after it was introduced. Our Prime Minister, while in Opposition, also indicated in her speech notes, 1993, that the asset stripping law was mean-spirited.

Post War years and in relative prosperity it was customarily accepted that prudent people paid high taxes and discharged their mortgages and put their savings aside for retirement on the understanding that they were making adequate provision for their old age. What was never considered was that uncaring and unscrupulous politicians would impose an act that would plunder their assets to pay for geriatric care.

Yet is a strange irony that the disadvantaged aged are now called the greedy oldies the same aged group who suffered from a depression, went to war, built our infrastructure, paid tax at 60 per cent of their income to build the amenities others now enjoy. The aged who thought in good faith that they were providing for their own retirement are being victimized and their assets plundered while those who have never saved find Rest Home care becomes a free ride.

The empowering legislation must be rescinded not modified on the basis of unjustifiable discrimination, and divisiveness.


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