Interest on DHB debt reflects Govt policy

Published: Thu 5 Sep 2013 07:13 PM
Thursday 5 September 2013
Interest on DHB debt reflects Govt policy
"The waste inherent in debts forced on DHBs by government is consistently demonstrated by interest payments incurred for no other reason than that current MPs either don’t understand finance systems or if they do they lack the will to do anything about it" said David Tranter, Democrats for Social Credit's Health Spokesman.
"The West Coast DHB offers an example. According to the WCDHB's own figures, as at March 2012 it was forking out interest at around $800,000 annually. A year later the figure is around $648,000.
"The question must be asked: why doesn’t Parliament act to provide DHB loans through the Reserve Bank at minimal interest (just enough to cover administration costs) instead of the taxpayer being landed with higher rates? And these figures are peanuts compared to the interest that will be incurred if the Grey Hospital re-build ever happens.
"Labour politicians should understand Reserve Bank loans because the first Labour government provided such money for the public works that helped get this country out of the Great Depression.
"The Greens took a passing stab at the morally bankrupt (pun intended) finance system a while ago but seemed not to fully comprehend its convoluted processes.
"As for National, after numerous attempts to evade the questions put to Tony Ryall on the topic of DHB debts, he finally gave as the reason they won’t use the Reserve Bank that it’s not government policy. Why not? And why don’t the elected members of all District Health Boards publicly ask government why it won’t provide finance through the Reserve Bank? What are they frightened of? They have only their (and the taxpayers’) debts to lose."

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