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Start advocating for senior citizens Minister

9 December 2009 Media Statement

Drop the rhetoric and start advocating for senior citizens Minister

The National Government is treating older New Zealand as a burden and refusing to acknowledge their needs, Labour Senior Citizens spokesperson Ross Robertson says.

“Decisions being made by the Government in cutting ACC programmes that affect older New Zealanders such as the falls prevention programme, safe driver training and further restricting access for hearing services through ACC and health sector cuts to home support is neglectful,” Ross Robertson said.

“What is the Minister of Senior Citizens doing to advocate for older New Zealanders? It seems he has sat by while the National Government has made cut after cut to services for elderly.

“Recently he said he wanted to break the silence on elder abuse in New Zealand, but again this is little more than rhetoric from an inactive and invisible Minister.

“From the meetings I have held with Age Concern and Grey Power organisations around the country they are concerned about what the future holds for them and the current Government is doing little if anything to provide reassurance.

“I am concerned that the Minister of Senior Citizens is failing to communicate with the public just how much the cutbacks will affect older people.

“It seems the Government sees services for older people not as a priority but as an opportunity to make cost savings at the expense of people’s future health and wellbeing

“The Government is treating older New Zealanders as a burden and the Minister of Senior Citizens is simply sitting mutely by,” Ross Robertson said.

ENDS

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