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Funding for RSA Services To Veterans Scrapped In Budget

RSA National Media Release
25 May 2012

Funding for RSA Services To Veterans Scrapped In Budget

The Royal New Zealand RSA is deeply disappointed that the modest financial support of $250,000 p.a. provided by Government was scrapped in yesterday’s Budget.

The Government Grant provided reimbursement of the cost of our volunteers connecting with veterans on a regular and wide basis through our countrywide network of 250 RSAs and branches.

“We believe that our volunteer frontline service is a cost effective means of accessing and supporting veterans in their homes, rest homes or hospitals,” says National President Don McIver.

“This service enables us to refer potential eligible veterans for entitlements to VANZ and also access other government agency services.”

In 2011, the Government Grant assisted in reimbursing 500 RSA volunteers their transport and out-of-pocket expenses to undertake 11,000 visits to veterans and ex-servicemen and women across the country. It also provided much needed assistance in taking people to hospitals and medical appointments.

“What better organisation than the RSA to connect and support veterans in our communities?” says Mr McIver.

The RNZRSA received the Government Grant of $1M in 2008 in recognition of its core mission to support veterans and ex-servicemen and women, taking the decision to draw down the amount in four tranches of $250,000 over four years.

The loss of Government funding would now leave many RSAs, particularly small and mainly rural RSAs, unable to reimburse their volunteers for expenses such as phone and travel costs.

“The fact that our service has not been deemed deserving for a renewal of Government funding will leave our 120,000 members and the wider ex-service community bitterly disappointed. One has to wonder how this very modest saving would materially assist the Government’s target of achieving operating surplus in 2014-15,” McIver said.


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