Deaf ears on mental health
Peter Wilson's article on cannabis reform (Opinion, September 22) makes reference to the Mental Health Review led by Ron Paterson and alludes to the need for structural change in health systems.
This is rather ironic as the review concluded, after months of deliberation and consultation, that it saw no evidence of either the desirability or necessity for systemic change in the current medical model providing mental health services to users.
This is despite my own lengthy submissions as a user and those of many of my peers, providing just that sort of evidence based on personal experience where it is clear the current model is inadequate to the task and systemically is counterproductive in many ways for many of those who come under its umbrella.
The fact the panel in this so-called independent review consisted largely of those who currently or previously held roles in the medical model of mental health services ... goes a long way to explaining, I believe, why this golden opportunity to generate a much-needed overhaul and revamp of the systems these services operate under, has been squandered and lost, for perhaps another 50 years.
It makes you wonder also if the big deal that was made in consulting with users was really just another PR exercise involving token gestures when it seems that again the voices of those most qualified to provide comment were, in my opinion, ignored or fell on deaf ears.
Very disappointing as one who is passionate about ensuring mental health services provide the best possible care. We are a long way from that sort of result. [Abridged]
The best tax to cut
Apparently, Judith Collins is betting that voters have poor math skills and weak memories.
Covid has decreased GDP by 12.2 per cent. While borrowed spending to sustain the economy has had to be increased. That GDP dip means less economic activity and therefore less tax money coming in to run the government.
National's economic recovery plan features tax decreases. Good for the upper earners, their constituency. Where's the needed tax money to come from or does Collins plan to borrow our way out of recession?
Tax cuts are usually National's mantra. Last time National instituted tax cuts on the richer folks, it was in 2009, after the near-global economic meltdown. Then they played reverse Robin Hood and increased GST on everyone by 2.5 per cent.
Challenged by Helen Clark on how he'd pay for pre-election promises of tax cuts, John Key said he wouldn't change GST. Then he got elected and forgot his promise except the tax-cut part.
Is that the plan now? Give the rich a break while burdening the poor and the rest of us?
You want tax cuts? I'd vote for cutting GST. That'll get everyone spending and spur the economy.
Right direction on rubbish
Drew Taylor's letter is spot-on (Chronicle, September 25). He asserts:
"We need one rubbish and resource recycling contractor using fewer specialist trucks doing all the collecting and recycling, paid directly by the council and added to the rates."
This is the only no-nonsense, viable and sustainable option, and would bring Whanganui into line with the direction New Zealand is moving.
CHANNA MIRIAM KNUCKEY