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Senior Citizens, Not Senile Citizens

MEDIA RELEASE

Senior Citizens, Not Senile Citizens

27 JULY 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the merits and costs of the “No car? No problem! Getting around your community without a car” brochure, released by the Office for Senior Citizens. The brochure’s purpose is to explain to senior citizens transport options when they can no longer drive.

Suggestions include:

• “walking more often”

• “getting lifts from family and friends”

• “using taxies”

• “using public transport"

• “letting others use your car to drive you places”

• "public transport and getting family to drive you"

Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, says that publishing a brochure explaining that people can walk places is a waste of taxpayers’ money and public servants’ time.

“We know that politicians like to be seen to be doing something, but surely New Zealanders don’t need to be told by the Government that taking a bus is an option, when you can no longer drive.”

It has cost taxpayers over $37,000 to produce the brochures since 2005. This figure excludes the cost of staff time. “That money could have been better prioritised for more pressing issues facing our ageing citizens,” says Williams.

Information released to the Taxpayers' Union indicates that aside from the Office for Senior Citizens, numerous staff hours we also required from the Ministry of Social Development, the New Zealand Transport Agency and a selection of the Volunteer Community Coordinators.

“Our seniors weren’t born yesterday – spending taxpayers’ money to produce patronising brochures explaining to them the existence of taxis and public transport is insulting.”

“Instead of addressing pressing issues such as fraudsters preying on our seniors and elder-abuse, the Government is throwing money away at brochures that parrot what is surely common sense.”

A copy of the brochure is available to view at taxpayers.org.nz.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is a non-partisan activist group, dedicated to being the voice for Kiwi taxpayers in the corridors of power. It’s here to fight government waste and make sure New Zealanders get value for money from their tax dollar.

The Taxpayers’ Union operates a 24 hour media line for comment on taxpayer issues. Representatives are available on (04) 282 0302.

High resolution images and logos are available on request or online athttp://www.taxpayers.org.nz/pages/resources


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