Dr Lynda Scott
National Senior Citizens & Associate Health Spokesperson
24 July 2001
Superfund cripples elderly care
Senior citizens and the country's elderly will be the big losers with the Government putting aside $600 million into a
superfund this year, $1.2 billion next year and $2 billion the following year, National's Senior Citizens spokesperson
Lynda Scott said today.
"If you are putting money into the superfund you can't spend the same money on other needs like health, education and
growing the economy. We've already seen the Government announcing it would cut funding to the elderly last week by
chopping $8 million from geriatric care.
"Health Minister Annette King avoided questions in parliament today about why money is being taken from care for the
elderly for the superfund.
"This year the health system has had the lowest increase in funding since 1993 and the reason is because the
Government's put hundreds of millions of dollars towards super.
"National has guaranteed we will not touch the amount of superannuation the country's older people are entitled to. We
will support that part of the Superannuation Bill.
"For the next 20 years this Government is committing money to the fund that should instead be available to social and
health services. This is a lose lose situation for the elderly - they are the ones who will suffer.
"Health boards around the country are already signalling cuts to services. We've seen the crowded corridors at Auckland
hospital, heard of the terminally ill man who waited hours at Hutt Valley hospital before giving up and going home, and
seen reports of a 'haemorrhaging' health system lacking staff and unable to provide services.
"At a time when our frail elderly need good health services the most, they will be suffering from health cuts. This
superfund is designed to look after the babyboomers and no one else but is taking money from vital services we need in
the community now," Dr Scott said.