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National not supportive of caregiver wages campaign

National the only party not supportive of caregiver wages campaign

National are now the only major political party not supporting increased funding for aged care providers so they can pay their 30,000 caregivers $17.50 per hour, the same rate the Government pays their caregivers.

New Zealand First, Labour, the Green Party, the Conservative Party, United Future and the Māori Party have now all confirmed their support for achieving pay parity between caregivers in the aged care sector and Government caregivers in DHB hospitals.

“National’s position is that they believe caregiver wages is an issue between employers and employees,” says Martin Taylor, CEO of the New Zealand Aged Care Association.

“Elderly in care receive a subsidy from the Government which has to cover all of their care resident’s costs, including caregiver wages. The reality is that the subsidy is low, which is why aged care operators simply cannot match Government caregiver wage rates,” says Taylor. “This fact has been recognised by both Labour and the Greens.”

“Even when our country is in surplus, our caregivers are still waiting for support from National for increased funding for their wages. Our caregivers deserve far better from New Zealand. They deserve to feel they are being treated with dignity and respect,” he says.

The funding requested over a three-year period equates to only 0.8% of the Government’s overall public health budget, or 11% of the surplus planned for the 2014/15 year.

“We all have a social responsibility to look after our elderly and those who care for them. The only person who can correct this issue is the paymaster. Our Government is that paymaster, and it’s time for them to come the party and support the dedicated people who take care of our aging population every single day,” says Taylor.

ACT and the Internet MANA Party have not responded.

More information is available on the campaign website: www.whocares.org.nz.


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