Pinning hopes on Budget moves

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The Pensioner

Bill Egerton, 72, Welcome Bay:

Retired rail maintenance fitter Bill Egerton would like to see superannuation increased at the same rate as inflation.

"I think it should be up with the proper rate of inflation. The inflation rate goes up and you don't get compensated for that. I just hope they look after pensioners a bit because everything is going up in price," he said.

He would also like older people to be exempt from hospital waiting lists. "As you get older your health deteriorates. We have paid taxes all these years to build hospitals. We should be able to go to hospital. There shouldn't be a waiting list for older people. Not elective surgery, but if you have a medical condition that is developing you should be able to go to a public hospital and be seen straight away."

Revenue could come from tightening taxation "loopholes", he said.

"In this country taxation is what makes the country go. You pay taxes and you live off what they give you. To me there are too many loopholes in taxation for the higher echelon of business and farmers.

"The working man pays his tax and he has no loopholes."

The Empty Nesters

Karina, 51, and Dale Wakefield, 51, Matua:

Empty nesters and business owners Karina and Dale Wakefield, directors of Dominator Garage Door Centre, would like more money spent on encouraging economic growth and restoring business confidence.

Reducing building compliance costs and cutting fuel tax were high on their list.

As was improving road conditions and safety.

"Roading conditions are pretty poor in a lot of places ... things like passing lanes and safety improvements," said Mr Wakefield, who regularly travels throughout Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

"The other area is health.

"We would like to see waiting times in public hospitals reduced and increased research into serious health conditions, such as cancer," Mrs Wakefield said.

The couple suggested revenue could come from reducing the money spent on the "day-to-day running" of government departments and removing government funding from non-essential services, such as museums.

"We are believers in user pays. Those sorts of things, when you travel overseas, you pay to go into them," Mr Wakefield said.

The Young Family

Casey, 29, and Sam Fredericks, 26, Pyes Pa:

Casey and Sam Fredericks, parents to Nathan, 7, Codi, 4, Aram, 3, and Bella, 1, want more money to go towards child health.

Three of their four children have health problems - Codi has a bowel condition, Aram is suffering ongoing health problems due to intrauterine growth restriction and Bella has chronic asthma.

"I'm totally against the cost of medication going up. And there should be a full subsidy in weekends for under-6s," Mrs Fredericks said.

The couple also wanted more funding to go towards teaching children how to read and write. "The literacy level in New Zealand is disgusting. They need to put more money into teaching kids the basics," added Mrs Fredericks, who is a director of Haven of Grace refuge.

And they were against school class sizes increasing.

"Instead of being able to work with those in need, they get further and further behind as they go through the school system. I don't want to see any kid left behind because they can't keep up with the rest of the class," Mr Fredericks said.

A stricter justice system and more mental health resources for children and teens were also priorities, as was increased tax for higher earners. "Some people who earn a lot of money, they could be taxed a little bit more," Mrs Fredericks said.

"And MPs' wages ... they are on a huge salary and all their benefits. Bring them into the real world."

Working for Families and benefits should "definitely not" be cut back, she added.

The Singleton

Pete Linde, 30, Mount Maunganui:

Consultant Pete Linde, who rents a house with others, would like to be able to buy his own home.

"I would like to see improved housing affordability. I could save but I would be stretched, and trying to do it on your own is a lot harder," he said.

The cost of running a car was also of concern.

"Insurance for the car alone, registration, warrant of fitness, plus fuel on top of that, plus maintenance - even a basic car costs," he said.

"Everything's creeping up in price. I would like to see reduced regulation.

"Everything seems to have a dollar value now, even something basic. It all adds to the cost of living."

He also felt that young people should be better educated about money. "It's too easy for people to borrow money, to live beyond their means. It's too easy to buy goods on hire purchase. People shouldn't need 48 months interest free. It shouldn't take four years to buy a couch."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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