Matthew Theunissen is a business reporter

Backlash over costly brochure

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A brochure telling senior citizens they can walk or catch the bus when they're no longer able to drive has been slammed as patronising and a waste of public money.

The glossy "No car? No problem!" leaflet from the Office for Senior Citizens suggests using taxis, getting lifts from family and friends, using a mobility scooter or moving to a more handy address.

The brochure, which was first printed in 2005 with an updated version this year, has cost about $37,000, excluding staff time.

Taxpayers Union executive director Jordan Williams said the money could have been better used.

"Our seniors weren't born yesterday - spending taxpayers' money to produce patronising brochures explaining to them the existence of taxis and public transport is insulting.

"The Government is throwing money away at brochures that parrot what is surely common sense."

Office for Senior Citizens director Sarah Clark said it provided information some people may not have considered.

"We're making sure our older people have what they need to plan ahead and get around, and avoid social isolation," she said.

Grey Power chair of social services Violet McCowatt did not believe the brochure was condescending.

"As our circumstances change, seniors need to look at these sorts of things to help them make the right choice as to where to retire, etc."

- Herald on Sunday

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