INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cost of living rises while the Government sleeps

Published: Tue 16 Nov 2010 04:46 PM
Cost of living rises while the Government sleeps
The Government is continuing to ignore concerns about the increase in living costs being faced by New Zealanders, including steep rises in doctors’ fees, says Phil Goff.
The Labour Leader raised concerns in Parliament today about the rise in the cost of visiting the doctor in the Mana electorate, caused by the Government’s hike in GST to 15%.
GPs in Mana have confirmed that fees for under 17-year-olds have increased by up to $7.50 per visit since April, said Phil Goff.
“That’s an increase of up to 20% and means that the cost of visiting the doctor for a child or young person can be as much as $42.50. That is a cost many people can’t afford right now.
“The increase not only hits people in the pocket but also hits them health-wise because the cost may put them off going to the doctor.
“It’s not just Mana residents who are suffering. Under National, GP fees throughout the country went up by about 6.5% last year. Now we’re seeing prices jump again because of the Government’s hike in GST.”
Food costs are also hitting families hard, says Phil Goff.
“In the past year, fruit and vegetable prices have gone up by 16.4%. Families can’t afford to buy healthy food when prices are rising faster than their wages.
“Labour is committed to removing all GST from fresh fruit and vegetables to ensure they are more affordable for Kiwi families.
“John Key and Bill English simply scoff when concerns are raised about how low and middle income earners are struggling. They have no plan to get the economy going or to help hard-working kiwis who can’t keep pace with the rising cost of living.”
ENDS

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