More tax to pay for healthcare
Your cartoon, "Body's View" (January 20) hit the nail on the head. It depicted a character, "the money hoarding taxpayer" preventing another character, the "sick hospital patient" from receiving reliable healthcare.
In other words Body suggested that we need more taxes if we want dependable healthcare.
According to the NZ Institute of Economic Research, health spending fell from a 6.28 per cent increase of real per capita expenditure under the last Labour coalition to a decrease of 1.25 per cent under Key's National-led coalition.
Spending under the current coalition is improving.
But it is still in somewhat of a stranglehold by NZ First and Robertson's irrational so-called "budget responsibility" rules.
Everyone has a story about being affected by health-related budget cuts in the last decade.
This decline from the generous Kiwi of previous decades to "the money-hoarding taxpayer" of today is most certainly a result of shifting the burden from the wealthy to the middle class and poor.
And in order to keep people placid, we have been fed unrelenting 30-plus years PR programmes in the media in our schools spinning neoliberalism. It worked.
Neoliberalism's intent was to crush unions and flatten taxes.
Real wages stagnated and conditions plummeted. And New Zealand shifted the tax burden from the rich to the poor via GST, while cutting upper end income tax.
Spending decreased to among the lowest in the OECD. New Zealand remained among the only developed nations without some form of wealth/capital tax.
As Victoria University professor Jonathan Boston recently pointed out the result is that that our attitude in the once egalitarian New Zealand now scores lowest in polls on the support for the welfare state.
Attitudes must change on our miserly taxing and spending regimes if we are to fix the health system - not to mention, education and the rest of our crumbling infrastructure.
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Lack of oxygen
Re: comments from G.R. Scown (January 30). Yes, I made the comments that when "unbalanced comments are made by someone" it's best to not respond and apply the "lack of oxygen principle". When G.R. Scown rabbits on about emotions and mushy brains one can only wonder what planet he's on.
I can assure you that I'm not an emotional person and I have seen more than my fair share of death, with two people very close to me (grandfather and father) and many others through mental health nursing/police and ACC.
The End of Life Bill has been butchered by various sectors in Parliament who are emotionally charged to "push their cultural and religious views".
They don't give a stuff about the wishes of most of the population of New Zealand, only their cultural and religious beliefs come first, second and third.
Why is it not surprising that the smallest two political parties are playing a major role in the End of Life debate?
Act, the one man party who has worked his butt off getting this piece of legislation off the ground. New Zealand First took the final choice out of Parliament's hands so those bigots elected by thousands of people can't abuse their positions any more.
All New Zealanders of voting age will have the chance to vote for this bill that has fought its way through Parliament. Have no doubt that the anti-bill group will be well funded in the next elections. But remember what this bill is for, it's for people who have no hope of a medical recovery and the prospect of a painful death. They will be allowed a choice to end their life without pain and with dignity. People need to focus on the word "choice". No one is being asked or forced to forget their cultural or religious beliefs. Why attack a group of people who want the choice to end life with dignity?
R.G. (BOB) WALKER
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