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.