16 October 2006
Elderly Have A Right To Grow Old Together
The current situation which prevents elderly couples receiving an accommodation subsidy while living in their own
apartment incorporated into a residential care facility is bizarre and ridiculous, says New Zealand First social
services spokesperson Barbara Stewart.
Mrs Stewart’s comments came after it was reported today that eligibility rules for a government subsidy imposed by DHB’s
have forced a couple married for 57 years to live separately in a residential care facility in order to receive the
“New Zealand First finds this situation completely unacceptable and it cannot be allowed to continue,” said Mrs Stewart.
“The issue is not even a financial one, as persons affected are already eligible for the subsidy. The issue is solely
based around where a person can receive the subsidy.
“We believe that an amendment to the Social Security (Long Term Residential Care) Amendment Bill must be made to allow
elderly people, assessed as being eligible for a subsidy, to receive the subsidy while living in their own apartment
which is part of a residential facility.
“New Zealand First will support any moves which will allow retired couples to grow old together with all their due
entitlements,” said Mrs Stewart.