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Taxpayers To Fork Out Millions For Holidays Bills

Taxpayers To Fork Out Millions For Holidays Bills

Thursday 11 Sep 2003
Heather Roy
Press Releases -- Health

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy today condemned Labour for introducing two Bills that will end up costing taxpayers millions of dollars, in light of the Private Hospitals Association's submissions to the Transport and Industrial Select Committee.

"The Holidays Bill and the Four Weeks Paid Leave Bill are set to cost the aged care sector more than $16 million a year. This cost will be paid by the taxpayer, who funds aged care through the Health Ministry - to be devolved to DHBs on October 1," Mrs Roy said.

"Aged residential care homes generally operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Once the Holidays Bill - which offers workers paid time-and-a-half for public holidays and regular pay for alternative days taken in lieu - is passed, they will be hit with a 1.6 percent increase in total staff costs.

"The total cost of this entitlement increase across the aged residential care sector's 30,000 beds is more that $8 million per annum.

"If the Four Weeks Paid Holiday Bill is passed, it will add yet another $8 million to the sector's burden, bringing the entire annual cost to $16 million.

"ACT opposes both these Bills. This is simply payback to the unions - for supporting Labour during the last two elections. If the Government has all this money to throw around, it should simply give it directly to the aged care sector - which, despite residents needing higher levels of care, and costs for this having steadily increased, has only had minor funding increases over the past five years," Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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