Free dental is a vote winner – Grant will give property owners a reason to smile but the bleeding gums poor can go rot?


Grant’s default position of caution has ruled out making Dental free in the public health system.

This is a tragic mistake politically and morally.

Sure the $1billion price tag to move dental into the public health system is steep, but Dental should never have been left out of public health coverage in the first place

For every dollar spent on free dental, you save $1.60.

This will actually save the Government money long term!

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It would also bring hundreds of thousands of people suffering from tooth pain to the polls regardless of how pissed off they are with Jacinda and Covid.

Bringing Dental into the free public health system makes economic sense, it makes political sense and most importantly, it’s immoral to spend $1billion a year on Government  consultants and not spend an equal amount on a public health necessity like dental!

Grant could pump billions into the banks and property speculators, but can’t do anything for the bleeding gums of our inequality?

Instead of saying no, Grant should enthusiastically be saying yes and explaining to voters that a vote for Labour is a vote for immediate free dental care WHILE putting a sugar tax on fizzy drinks ring fenced to provide direct funding of this.

Shrugging and saying there are other health priorities isn’t a solution, it’s more evidence of Labour’s political caution rather than political leadership.


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  1. ACC just spent over 60K arguing it did have to pay for a 14K operation that would have got a person back to work, a place he is very keen to be. But he’s still on coach being paid 1400 a week by the taxpayers now while trying to fight off depression.

    Govts and forward looking financial decisions never play well together.

  2. This will never happen! How much do you think is invested in the private medical sector and what are the current profit margins? How hard would the dental sector and other threatened private health care operators fight such a move? We still have a financial barrier to entry for GP’s the supposed frontline of our healthcare system – this is because as a group they simply refused to accept a publicly owned business model (and that was back in the 50’s I think) – so instead we have pretend businesses providing a publicly funded service.
    It’s a profound social sickness and we won’t get truly accessible health care until we find a cure for our it.

  3. More photos of middle class non brown kids will do it! Chuck in some pronouns for them too! Then just like magic! Hey presto it’ll all appear! Kaaa-ching! The Bazooka Cash will appear! But for only people with kids.

  4. “This is a tragic mistake politically and morally.”
    It turns out Grant has been a tragic political mistake as well. A true Neolib, or at least 3rd wayer committed to the PMC and neoliberal managerialism.
    I’ve been wondering when ‘kaizen’ (all the rage in the late 80s) was going to get another run around the block – at least in a PR sense.
    Stuff all now actually works that well in our public service – and it ain’t the public servants at the coal face.
    (The latest – Yet another little ‘process’ gone bugger up with INZ and Little) .

  5. “Grant’s default position of caution has ruled out making Dental free in the public health system.
    This is a tragic mistake politically and morally.”
    It’s no mistake. grant robertson’s doing what he’s told.

    • Stealing Sylvian’s policy again Andrew?
      Or forget to change your NatTroll trolling name, judging by Sylvian’s later comment here!?

    • andrew when will you admit neo-liberalism has failed everywhere….
      c’mon big breath now, it’s not that difficult.

  6. I have a feeling it could be a bribe next year too. However I wish someone would set up a dental insurance scheme instead of unemployment insurance for middle class workers.
    If you divide $1billion by 5 million it would be $3.85 per week per person. If all over 18’s paid say $5 per week (and govt subsidised the same amount = approximately $500 million per year) similar to an ACC levy it would be amazing that everyone in NZ would get dental treatment for no extra cost!
    Why.the.hell.didn’ We should be out protesting in the streets for this.

  7. Not enough dentists now Martyn to treat the 40% of people that can afford to go. Unlikely to change for quite some time. Never under estimate the motivation of professional groups to maintain their beneficial fee structures that are currently in place.

  8. I would have given my back teeth, and front teeth for free dental care.
    I remember Jim Anderton, God rest his soul, having this Free Dental policy when he was a New Labour leader.
    Current Labour under Jacinda and Grant, really need to have this dental policy as Future Labour policy.
    Best way to divorce Labour from the right wing NACT trolls promoting tax cuts for the rich.
    Best way to bury Sir Roger Douglas and his perfect teeth, from Labour’s infiltration by neoliberal user-pays.
    Unpainful, unrotten teeth for the poor will throw neoliberal f*ckers to the scrapheap of political elitism.
    Smile for, and on Labour for 2023.

    • River Rd dental in Hamilton sent a petition to the National Government in 2016 and it was flatly rejected.
      Robertson should go with free dental and asign the National party to the political dustbin forever.

  9. Dentist train for many years and their overheads are astronomical.
    The do a very important job. They deserve every Penny they earn

    • Do they? Not some of the ones I have worked for. Motivated by money, more than often arrogent, many of them absolute shite. Not that any of their patient’s realised until it all went wrong until a few years down the track. Good luck trying to get any compensation then.

  10. Let’s acknowledge the Taranaki guy’s improvements to the govt subsidy. Marked. I rightly didn’t get the community services card needed, despite my low income, cos of a middle class inheritance.

    Rental and dental are my major immediate threats. Like the needier.

  11. But would Labour really do this? and if they are so keen why not implement before the election, rather than use it as a bribe on the other side – which may not happen.

  12. Professional groups insert the word cartel essentially. Many professional groups are a money making racket rather than making their services better for the end user.

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