INDEPENDENT NEWS

Labour means more for health, education

Published: Wed 24 Nov 1999 01:32 PM
Labour Leader Helen Clark said today that a strong mandate for Labour would see the new government begin to reinvest in mental health and education.
Helen Clark today visited He Huarahi Tamariki, a Porirua school for young parents, and the Beggs family in Auckland, whose son was killed by a mentally ill flatmate. She said that Labour in government was committed to increasing funding in education and implementing the Blueprint for Mental Health Services.
"Social investment will be a core focus of the new Labour-led government. Instead of tax cuts so that the Prime Minister could enjoy another $450 a week courtesy of Act, we will invest in areas such as education and health.
"It is a scandal that a successful school such as He Huarahi Tamariki in Porirua, which gives teenage parents a second chance at education, falls outside the funding priorities of the current government. The school is doing an outstanding job. It should not be forced to rely on ad hoc funding at the whim of Education Ministry officials and ever-changing criteria.
"The family of Malcolm Beggs, who died at the hand of his mentally ill flatmate, are launching a petition calling for the implementation of the Mental Health Commission's Blueprint for Mental Health.
"Labour is committed to implementing the Blueprint and addressing the gaps in mental health services.
"Lack of cohesion, fragmentation of services and competition between services brought about by National's restructuring has widened the gaps in service provision. Labour's range of policies will close these gaps and improve mental health services.
"The choice confronting voters this election is the choice between a government committed to a fresh start and investment in New Zealand's social fabric, or the continuing running down of core public services in favour of tax cuts as promoted by National and Act.
"A strong mandate for Labour through the party vote will deliver a government committed to rebuilding New Zealand and restoring services in areas like education and mental health," Helen Clark said.

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