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Superfund cripples elderly care

Dr Lynda Scott
National Senior Citizens & Associate Health Spokesperson

24 July 2001

Superfund cripples elderly care

Senior citizens and the country's elderly will be the big losers with the Government putting aside $600 million into a superfund this year, $1.2 billion next year and $2 billion the following year, National's Senior Citizens spokesperson Lynda Scott said today.

"If you are putting money into the superfund you can't spend the same money on other needs like health, education and growing the economy. We've already seen the Government announcing it would cut funding to the elderly last week by chopping $8 million from geriatric care.

"Health Minister Annette King avoided questions in parliament today about why money is being taken from care for the elderly for the superfund.

"This year the health system has had the lowest increase in funding since 1993 and the reason is because the Government's put hundreds of millions of dollars towards super.

"National has guaranteed we will not touch the amount of superannuation the country's older people are entitled to. We will support that part of the Superannuation Bill.

"For the next 20 years this Government is committing money to the fund that should instead be available to social and health services. This is a lose lose situation for the elderly - they are the ones who will suffer.

"Health boards around the country are already signalling cuts to services. We've seen the crowded corridors at Auckland hospital, heard of the terminally ill man who waited hours at Hutt Valley hospital before giving up and going home, and seen reports of a 'haemorrhaging' health system lacking staff and unable to provide services.

"At a time when our frail elderly need good health services the most, they will be suffering from health cuts. This superfund is designed to look after the babyboomers and no one else but is taking money from vital services we need in the community now," Dr Scott said.

Ends

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