Dr Lynda Scott
Opposition Associate Health Spokesperson
Thursday 22 June 2000
Will Dyson deliver on asset testing?
The elderly are taking it as read that the Minister of Disability will deliver on the election promise to scrap asset
testing, but she faces huge hurdles getting the money, Opposition Associate Health spokesperson Lynda Scott said today.
"There are estimates that scrapping asset testing will cost $200million a year.
"The Disability Minister only managed to get $10million extra a year from this year's Budget.
"She'll be pushing up hill to deliver $200milliion for asset testing in election year.
"The Government only has $575million to spend in election year. The Minister will have to take more than a third of the
total extra spending if she is to deliver on her rhetoric.
"Ruth Dyson and the Government have no answers about where the money will come from.
"The Government refused to come clean when questioned in Parliament over the policy.
"Elderly New Zealanders are expecting the Government to deliver big on this policy.
"The Minister has raised the prospect of yet another tax to fund the long term care and income needs of the elderly.
Does she intend to consult with the wider public on this?
"There are big questions over this policy and how much will be spent.
"For example does the ring fencing of funding mean the Government plans to cap funding for elderly people in residential
care and limit the number of places available?
"Labour has raised expectations through the roof and nothing short of removing asset testing completely by the next
election will satisfy the elderly."