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Hands Off Donations, Roy Tells Government

Hands Off Donations, Roy Tells Government

The Government had a “cheek” in thinking it could take a capital charge out of donations given by Southlanders to fund Southland Hospital’s new MRI scanner.

Roughly $400,000 of donations are subject to a capital charge as they were given to the MRI fund before July.

“The Southland District Health Board first asked the Government for clarification on this matter in December 2003 and got no response. The Government has passed the ball on this to the Crown Law Office. What they should have done was tell the SDHB not to worry and that the capital charge would not be imposed on this money,” Mr Roy said.

“Everyone knows the money could be better spent on health services here than by it going back into the Government’s coffers. It’s time Pete Hodgson as Minister clarified this matter by telling the Ministry to forget about any imposition of a capital charge.”

Legislation has been passed since to ensure other DHBs will not have to pay a capital charge on donations for similar projects.

“The law was passed so this issue would not arise again. The Government needs to honour the intent of this legislation in regard to Southland DHB, given they asked nearly two years ago,” Mr Roy said.

“The Government has a cheek in thinking it can take these donations after leaving the SDHB hanging for so long, and the impact on the Board’s accounts could be avoided by using some common sense and showing goodwill,” he said.

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