Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


'Free’ scheme needs careful analysis

Annette King
Social Policy Spokesperson

Grant Robertson
Health Spokesperson

27 October 2011

‘Free’ scheme needs careful analysis

National’s free after-hours health care for children under six typically comes with hooks, Labour’s Social Policy spokesperson and Deputy Leader Annette King says.

“Extending free medical care to after-hours services had to happen. The Government’s relentless focus on cost-cutting has seen hundreds of kids missing out on treatment because their parents and care givers couldn’t afford the fees.

“But just putting a scheme in place is not enough. It is estimated New Zealand now has a staggering 270,000 children living in poverty. Around half of those are Maori or Pasifika and they have two to three times poorer health than other New Zealanders,” Annette King said.

“We need to ensure all our kids get the best start in life. Families are not just struggling to pay medical bills. There’s food, and fuel, and heating and clothing…the list goes on.”

Labour’s Health spokesperson, Grant Robertson, said the latest announcement did not guarantee that every local GP clinic would buy into the free after-hours scheme.

“The Minister also talks about the scheme being funded by ‘efficiencies elsewhere in the system’.

“That means more cuts from a budget that has already been cut by millions,” Grant Robertson said.

“Tony Ryall needs to be transparent about what services he’ll be stripping as a consequence of not providing extra funding for this new scheme.”

“He says there will be alternatives within ‘a reasonable distance’ available, but there’s no guarantee of that either. What does ‘reasonable distance’ mean? It may mean some children will still be missing out on treatment,” Grant Robertson said.

Annette King said Labour had a full agenda for children that would eliminate child poverty which would be announced in the coming weeks.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Fudging On Child Poverty, And America’s Diplomatic Dance With Iran

If you want a good insight into what the limits of tiny, barely discernible steps to reduce poverty actually look like, delve into the latest Statistics Department figures on poverty in New Zealand Most of the nine measures utilised reveal little or no progress in combatting poverty over the 21 months to March 2020... More>>


Government: Reserve Bank To Take Account Of Housing In Decision Making

The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into ... More>>


RNZ: Alert Levels Remain

There are no new community cases of Covid-19 today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says at least half of the Papatoetoe High School community have been tested and the results that have come through so far have all been negative... More>>


Stats NZ: Latest Release Of Child Poverty Statistics

All measures of child poverty were trending downwards, prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, across the two years since year ended June 2018, Stats NZ said today. The COVID-19 lockdown in late March 2020 affected Stats NZ’s ability to collect data from households ... More>>


NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>

The Dig: An Illogical Ideological Struggle

Dig beneath all the trade wars and the arguments to the effect that the USA should not permit China to achieve economic and technological superiority, or even parity, and you find the real reason behind the conflict... More>>

Travel: Government Eases Visa Restrictions For Visitors In New Zealand

Visitor visa holders will be able to stay in New Zealand a little longer as the Government eases restrictions for those still here, the Minister of Immigration has announced. More>>




InfoPages News Channels