Budget 2014 – all that glitters


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The one part of the Budget that surprised me the most was the government’s plan to make GP visits free until the age of 13, raising it from 6. While this looks excellent from the service, Associate Professor Mike O’Brien, Social Security Spokesman for the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) does a great job at pointing out the practical reality of this law.

“In an area like Northland with its huge geographical issues, for poor people living in isolated rural communities, free doctors’ visits were no use if you could not access them because of distance or inability to afford to get there.”

This shows a real lack of comprehensive analysis and strategic action regarding what the rural working class of New Zealand really need. And this isn’t just the case in Northland; it’s the realty throughout the country regarding arguably the most pressing issue this country is currently facing.

Here we’re seeing National attempt to adapt Labour’s policies without actually understanding the worldview and reality of families living in poverty. It’s presented under the expectation that New Zealanders will simply accept these policies at face value when in reality it serves no practical and effective purpose. And to be honest, I’m not too sure if I’m even surprised by this.

So, once again, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the Budget shows National offering sugar coated policies that fail to properly reflect the biggest issues so many New Zealanders are experiencing and the solutions to them.


  1. “Just ring a taxi”, Bill English, John Key and Steven Joyce will smartly say, I presume. Otherwise charge up your “mobility scooter” and race up the road to get there. Or get a free ride with “aunt generous”, who drives her old bomb around the roads and highways.

    This government simply does not care, it does not care, it does not care, it cares only for their own and their lobby group buddies.

    We know, it is a look good vote catcher and nothing else. Who knows what the GPs will actually get paid for the consultations? Going by how the government treated the carers of disabled who won the court cases, offering them minimum wages and other terms that are hardly acceptable or fulfillable, the GPs may get paid only half the usual consultation costs for the under 13 year olds.

    Never forget the damned “small print”, especially when this is about Key, English and other smart operators making “offers”.

  2. I heard the following report on Radio NZ National yesterday, and it was on their news, and it appears only TVNZ have it on their website, but it was not on the TV news:


    The newest OECD statistics show that housing costs in NZ, measured against the average wage, or income, are the MOST EXPENSIVE in the whole of the OECD (34 most developed countries).

    So we can add that “glitter” to the budget as well, as the budget delivered little for disabled and stuff all for those on benefits, except paying more to WINZ case managers to pressure and harass sick and disabled into jobs that will not pay a living wage.

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