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Prison budget blowout reaches $384,000 per bed

Dr Paul Hutchison MP for Port Waikato

14 December 2004

Prison budget blowout reaches $384,000 per bed

"A Government budget blowout at Springhill Prison amounts to prison beds costing four times that of beds in nursing homes," says local MP Paul Hutchison.

"The total cost of the prison has risen from $188 million to $250 million - that equates to $384,000 per prison bed. When compared to the $90,000 for a bed in a nursing home it shows just how excessive the spending has become."

The prison site was bought for $2.3 million, but in June, Corrections Minister Paul Swain revealed earth-moving would cost $28 million. Now that figure has sky-rocketed to $38.8 million, including an extraordinary $7.7 million spent buying 11 dump trucks.

"It is a massive cost that could have been avoided had the Government chosen a more appropriate site from the 46 available," says Dr Hutchison.

"While the Government's mean policies have driven the Salvation Army to stop operating nursing homes, the Government are happy to waste millions of dollars because of poor planning.

"The excessive, sloppy spending is an insult to the thousands of elderly people who live in insecurity in their nursing home beds which cost a quarter of those at the Springhill Prison," Dr Hutchison says.

ENDS

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