15 May 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
User pays plan confirms National’s failure
National's sudden decision to force Kiwis to pay more for health services is affirmation that it has failed to properly
manage the economy or create growth, says Labour Leader David Shearer.
"Increasing charges for health care puts the burden on those who can least afford it. It comes at a time when Kiwis are
also being hit with price hikes for food, power, petrol, education and other basic costs of living.
"National has slashed preventative health care funding and put some great public health care programmes at risk. It is
now putting up prescription charges.
“The result of that is likely to be more people choosing not to pick up their medications and more spending down the
track on treatment when they become seriously ill,” David Shearer said.
"It doesn't make economic sense and it's not good for the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders.
“It is also unfair – it means ordinary New Zealanders are picking up the tab for National's economic mismanagement.
"Economic growth is the worst it's been under any New Zealand government in 50 years. We’ll see the result of that in
nine days’ time when National delivers its so-called zero Budget.
“It will be a game of smoke and mirrors, where money is shuffled between services so that cuts in one area are used to
pay for other services that have been starved of funding.
"Recycling stale old ideas - increasing user-charges was a Jenny Shipley ploy - is simply going back to no future.
“National has no forward-looking ideas. It is out of step with the times,” said David Shearer.