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Ruby Martin was raking up leaves in her backyard when she was mentioned by name in Phil Goff's speech in Parliament.

The 87-year-old said she "would have died" if she had heard the Leader of the Opposition name her live on the radio.

Mrs Martin suffers from arthritis, has had both hips replaced and is living on her own in Geraldine.

She lost her $30-a-week home-help allowance just over a year ago and gets by with the help of her daughter, who changes her linen and does her washing every week.

Mrs Martin's health means she can't do some of the chores around her home.

"I can't kneel down on the floor to clean anything."

Mr Goff asked Parliament in his Budget speech yesterday: "Why is it somehow okay for old people to be denied home help to live independently in their own homes, while Cabinet ministers get record-level payments to live in their own homes, on top of their big tax cuts?"

He said while Mrs Martin lost her $30-a-week home-help, Finance Minister Bill English wanted to pay himself $45,000 a year to live in his own home.

Mrs Martin said if it wasn't for her daughter, she would have to go into a home.

"I manage but I'm a pest on other people."

She was paid the allowance even while her husband was alive. A woman would come for 30 minutes each week. But that all changed when she was re-assessed about a year ago.

Mrs Martin said because she was still able to drive her car and buy her own groceries, her domestic home-help was stopped.

Her message to Prime Minister John Key is simple: "There are a lot of people appreciating that help. If I didn't have anyone to do it for me, I'd have to go into a home. I just couldn't exist here without people here to help me."