A sensible oldie

August 12th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

There were tough questions, soft questions, and sometimes no questions at all as leader David Cunliffe took to the Auckland suburbs of Glen Innes, Onehunga and Tamaki yesterday to sell the party’s policies.

Fresh off his announcement that all over-65s, pregnant women and children under 13 would get free GP visits and prescriptions, Mr Cunliffe visited Onehunga Mall.

But it was a shaky start, as a gentleman threw up his hands in a flutter in an attempt to avoid shaking Mr Cunliffe’s hand.

And Colleen Whitehouse, 77, said she didn’t want Labour’s healthcare policy. “I think it would cost the country too much money.”

It wold, and far more than they say. Labour constantly make the mistake of never allowing for the fact that if you don’t charge for something, then far more people will use it.  Student associations used to give away free “hardship” money and every year they would report how surprised they were that more and more students would turn up wanting free money.

hardshipbyage

This graph is from the Dim Post, where Danyl points out:

Labour’s policy is a generous subsidy to the least needy group in the country. It’s also a very large group of people with high -care needs and giving them ‘free’ access to healthcare is going to cause a huge increase in demand for primary  services.

Labour is promoting higher taxes on families and businesses of up to $5 billion a year, so they can increase subsidies to the “least needy”. Our aging population already poses massive fiscal challenges to us in terms of affordable healthcare and superannuation. Labour’s policy will make future healthcare even more unaffordable.

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44 Responses to “A sensible oldie”

  1. alex Masterley (1,517 comments) says:

    And also Mr Cunliffe was chatting to a local in Onehunga, Robert Reid, who co-incidently is an organiser for First Union which has it’s offices just around the corner from where the photo in the Herald was taken.

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  2. markm (114 comments) says:

    Why has no one attacked Labour on the obvious problem of having policy to make housing more affordable (cheaper) and at the same time claiming they will bring in 5 billion a year from capital gains when property goes up.

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  3. mjw (396 comments) says:

    So according to National the elderly are not in need?

    [DPF: No, according to the elderly themselves]

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  4. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Classic Labour party policy. Sounds good but the product is nothing like the advertising on the box and the end result is worse outcomes for their core voter demographic. Who’d have thunk socialism would fail … like it has everywhere it’s ever been tried.

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  5. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    mjw

    Perhaps it’s not a case of the elderly not being in need but a case of other groups having more pressing needs. But hey, defend this “power at any price” policy because when you get down to it – that’s the only thing Labour policy has going for it and you need to defend it on at least 1 level.

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  6. mjw (396 comments) says:

    burt – so what are National’s plans to address these more pressing needs? None, I suspect. So I don’t think they really believe what they are saying.

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  7. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    mjw

    Contrary to socialist la la land assertions – no good comes from just printing money and pretending a political party can be all things to all people. If you still support socialism then it’s clear you can’t even notice a failure when you see it repeatedly play out in front of you. So I don’t expect you to believe Labour aren’t magic and can make NZ a nirvana when everybody is rich simply by claiming we can afford it.

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  8. jv (16 comments) says:

    mjw

    Yes overwhelmingly we “elderly” are not in need of this bribe at all and many are on a pig’s back- today’s Herald Editorial is spot on.

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  9. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    Pregnant women to get free (well, paid for by the rest of us) dental care? Why? I bet more than a few will save up some serious work waiting for the pay-day.

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  10. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    “So according to National the elderly are not in need?”

    I know tons of oldies who dont need government charity.

    i also know a ton of people with kids who can afford to pay their doctor.

    heres an idea my communist friend. maybe if all these shit policies werent universal, the actual poor would get more help? :O

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  11. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    mjw

    What this policy really shows is how completely decades of ‘cradle to the grave’ policy have let people down. The elderly today paid extremely high tax in their younger days being promised they would be looked after in retirement. They are not – now we’re debating if we can even afford free health care for people that have already paid for it over and over.

    The issue here is that Labour policy always ends up being social engineering in the form of inter-generational theft. It always fails.

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  12. RF (1,407 comments) says:

    alex Masterley. 10.06am.

    Robert Reid is hard core Labour. He is on the Nations panel and a bitter socialist.

    Obviously a set up meeting with Cunners. Surprise surprise.. fancy meeting you here… Christ, thumb head is a phoney twat.

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  13. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    That chart reflects the current situation, it does not reflect the massive impact that the Baby Boomer cohort will have when the majority of them turn 65 years of age.

    A large number of BBers have lost life savings etc in the recent recession and in various collapsed investment deals. They are not as wealthy by proportion as many of the current over 65 year olds. Therefore health costs are likely to be an issue for them.

    A person that is currently over 70 years of age is not part of that large group – Labour has been the only party that has made the slightest acknowledgement of how this large group is going to impact society in the near future.

    Having said that, I disagree with YET ANOTHER policy that is taking the responsibility for a persons care away from the individual and the family, and placing it with the government. Only in extreme hardship or emergency should the government need to cover any person’s normal lifestyle needs.

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  14. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    But Judith, if we give rampant redistribution one more try it might just work this time – unlike the 20 previous times where it created more distortions than it fixed.

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  15. hj (7,033 comments) says:

    Yes overwhelmingly we “elderly” are not in need of this bribe at all and many are on a pig’s back- today’s Herald Editorial is spot on.
    …..
    There will (in future) be a lot of elderly who are struggling even with National Super. If they own their own houses they will have repairs, rates, insurances. Life is very expensive in NZ. The “rock star economy” is only from where some people are sitting.
    The elderly who are well off (that I know) have rental properties which they sell off as needed.

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  16. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    hj

    That can’t be true – These people were promised by Labour that if they paid higher taxes when they were younger they would be looked after in retirement.

    You are suggesting Labour policy has been failing for decades… And that being the case – why do people still believe it can suddenly be good viable sustainable policy now ?

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  17. Chuck Bird (4,897 comments) says:

    Have Labour worked out how they will handle the economy if they take power and both the dollar and property prices dive? Will people be able to claim a capital loss?

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  18. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    HJ

    The elderly who are well off (that I know) have rental properties which they sell off as needed.

    And that is the problem with sense of entitlement socialism. People seem to expect the workers of today to pay for the cost of supporting old people so old people can pass the assets they have accumulated onto their children. IE: Tax payers are bankrolling the wealthy – this is socialism.

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  19. hj (7,033 comments) says:

    But Judith, if we give rampant redistribution one more try it might just work this time – unlike the 20 previous times where it created more distortions than it fixed.

    Those young people in the video aimed at John Key are reaction to the idea that we just have to bob along as a nation of haves and have-nots.

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  20. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    burt (7,889 comments) says:
    August 12th, 2014 at 10:39 am
    But Judith, if we give rampant redistribution one more try it might just work this time – unlike the 20 previous times where it created more distortions than it fixed.

    It is not going to work any more in the future, than it has in a recent past. Historically it worked only because it was used for strictly emergency measures. I believe Government should always be there to offer support in emergencies, but currently that is not the case.

    The provision of health costs is no different to Nationals Maternity pay. It provides a payment to people so they do not have to provide it themselves.

    We all know we are going to get old. We all know that having a child is going to cost money, and reduce family incomes etc. Working for Families is another example of this. If you can’t afford to have children and support your family from your current financial situation, then don’t have them!! You know as you age you are going to have a larger health costs – save for it or take an insurance.

    If the government stopped providing for us ‘fetus to grave’ our taxes would drop accordingly, and we’d have a damn site more to be able to cover our needs. But, how do you get that message across – and how does the large disparity in wealth overcome the fact that some are not in a position to handle caring for themselves, due to generations of dependence?

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  21. virtualmark (1,531 comments) says:

    My experience has been left-wingers have a very “static” view of the economy and don’t have any appreciation of incentives, supply or demand.

    Labour’s view of the world is that once over 65’s have free access to primary healthcare that they’ll use much the same amount as they currently do. Perhaps one more visit every year.

    My view … and I’ll wager at least a chocolate fish on this … is that if Labour make primary healthcare free for oldies they will consume MUCH more of it.

    Fine say the left-wingers, then if what I say happens then us right-wingers should expect the market to introduce more supply. But, says me, firstly doctors won’t find the rates the Govt pays to be high enough, so they won’t actually have the financial incentives to come into the market. So what will happen, mark my words, is that if you don’t ration access to healthcare by price then the market will ration access to healthcare by queuing.

    My prediction is that if Labour introduce free primary healthcare to over-65s then the doctors surgeries will be full of over-65s lining up for nice-to-have-but-not-necessary treatment, that isn’t profitable business for the doctors (given the low price the Govt will pay), and meanwhile the working stiffs who are funding all this won’t be able to get into their doctor today, tomorrow or the next day because the appointments will all be clogged up by the wrinklies.

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  22. hj (7,033 comments) says:

    @ Burt
    but in the past there was a social contract: my grandfather born in the 1800″s got super, my father got super, you work until 65 and you get super. Now in our rock star economy it is unaffordable?

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  23. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ hj (6,523 comments) says:
    August 12th, 2014 at 10:46 am

    That is very true. I think our large suicide rate of young people, and things like increased gang membership etc are all symptoms of people that just accept the ‘haves and have nots’ aspect and so chose to ‘dip out’ of society, either physically or by joining groups, taking part in crime, taking drugs or other means. It’s avoidance in its rawest form.

    We need to enthuse our young, make them realise that social mobility is possible, that you do not have to be stuck in the same social position that you are born in. The government needs to focus its money on making social mobility possible, so that there is hope – rather than spending it, locking them into the welfare roundabout.

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  24. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    HJ

    It was never affordable as we were told. That’s the great dishonesty of socialism.

    Eventually you run out of other peoples money.

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  25. hj (7,033 comments) says:

    I wonder how our hard nosed idealists on super feel about Nationals strategy to grow the population as a way out of economic difficulty and into economic nirvana? Isn’t it just a policy born out of vested interests and their lobbying?

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  26. hj (7,033 comments) says:

    @ Burt
    In Sweden they link super to the state of the economy.

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  27. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    I was really glad to see that the Herald has introduced a “porkometer” – a measure of how much each party’s promises will cost.

    IIRC they had National at just over $1B and Labour at more than $6B (which is still far too low). Anyway, the great takeaway message is that Labour’s promises are vastly more expensive than National’s.

    Anyway….. “Labour – having GREAT policies since……… yeah, nah….. “

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  28. jv (16 comments) says:

    hj

    No. Most oldies who are comfortably off have simply prepared for retirement so not totally reliant on NZ super ie looked ahead, taken responsibility for themselves so don’t need bribes stolen from over taxed hard working young kiwi families.

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  29. hj (7,033 comments) says:

    @ Judith
    young people can’t afford a house. That is the governments fault.
    A house gives them a goal; a stake. But what would you expect from a government be-wedded to the real estate/ construction/ banking sector.

    Tony Alexander’s view on house prices

    In BNZ Chief Economist Tony Alexander’s weekly overview, Auckland house prices are set to move upwards nicely. Here are his 19 reasons why:
     

    3. The government is explicitly aiming to grow Auckland’s population as a means of achieving “agglomeration” benefits for economic growth which accrue from high interaction amongst economic players.

    17. The government has announced its efforts to improve housing affordability (lower prices) and they are minor and unlikely to have a noticeable impact if any for many years.

    http://www.davidwhitburn.com/blogs/auckland-house-prices-to-rise-over-10-in-2013/

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  30. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ thor

    I’m not quite sure how that would work – just what are the policies National are proposing?
    Of course their proposed policies rate low cost – its hard to cost something that so far has been mostly insignificant.

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  31. jv (16 comments) says:

    In Norway there is a base rate pension then a premium based on an individuals accumulated life time earnings

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  32. hj (7,033 comments) says:

    No. Most oldies who are comfortably off have simply prepared for retirement so not totally reliant on NZ super ie looked ahead, taken responsibility for themselves so don’t need bribes stolen from over taxed hard working young kiwi families.
    ….
    We don’t know that.
    The number of over 65’s working has increased by 21% (just heard Rod Oram on RadioNZ).

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  33. Peter (1,713 comments) says:

    When I was in London, it was near impossible for a working person, namely me, to see a doctor. Waiting times were weeks.

    Why?

    Free appointments. Old people would book them solid, and I’m sure it was because many of them just wanted someone to talk to.

    Labour, once again, proving:

    a) what clueless fools they are
    b) how desperate for power they are
    c) both

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  34. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    hj (6,528 comments) says:
    August 12th, 2014 at 11:08 am
    @ Judith
    young people can’t afford a house. That is the governments fault.
    A house gives them a goal; a stake. But what would you expect from a government be-wedded to the real estate/ construction/ banking sector.

    I agree hj. Young people need something to aim for. They can of course aim for a new car, or some other possession that is short term and disposable. But there is very little that they can aim for that is long term, and achievable. Affordable housing would provide them with that goal, and give them an incentive. Unfortunately when people of all ages have the goal moved so far out of their reach, their aspirations, along with their ethics, including work, family and personal, all shift and get out of balance.

    Housing also provides a sense of pride to people. It is very hard to feel proud about anything when your life revolves around the same job, on the same level of pay, that offers little chance of improvement or advancement.

    House ownership has in the past provided kiwis with a means of being proud – that is now out of reach for many – either we need to repair that, or find an alternative ideology that instills pride back into those New Zealanders that have lost that sense.

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  35. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Peter (1,634 comments) says:
    August 12th, 2014 at 11:29 am

    That sounds more like a shortage of Doctors, than it does about policy.

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  36. OTGO (557 comments) says:

    Ruth Dyson introduced free physiotherapy in 2004 saying they had budgeted 8.9 million/year. By 2008 it was 144 million and heading to 232 million in 2013 before Nick Smith canned it by introducing part charges. http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2009/08/acc_and_physiotherapy.html
    Labour policy might not sound like much now but people love free stuff so we’d be talking billions of dollars of free health care in very short time.

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  37. jv (16 comments) says:

    hj

    That may be.
    Or perhaps a lot of us just want to keep working on something else post “retirement” because it is a physically and mentally healthy thing to do ie productive self protection

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  38. Peter (1,713 comments) says:

    That sounds more like a shortage of Doctors, than it does about policy.

    You might want to think about what “shortage” actually means.

    It means supply not meeting demand. In this case, the demand by people who aren’t really sick had been markedly increased by making doctor visits “free”. The same thing will happen here. The demand will increase, the cost will blow out, and yet supply of doctors will remain relatively constant.

    I don’t know why the left fail to understand this time and time again. Consider, by way of example, that if you are offered free electricity, you’re going to use more electricity than you otherwise would. Understand that and you’ll understand the crisis Labour will cause in healthcare with this stupid policy.

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  39. Colville (2,272 comments) says:

    If you have a lot of young people that cannot get a bus ride to work because of Oldies taking free bus rides because they like the view that isnt a lack of buses.
    It is the bus system being abused.

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  40. Milburn35 (43 comments) says:

    Margaret Thatcher once said; The problem with Socialism, is that sooner or later you run out of other peoples money. Free doctors visits to the over 65’s and free prescriptions comes on top of Labour’s other expensive bribes. Our money (other peoples from a politicians point of view) seems to have a no ending supply unless you cut some other spending or raise taxes to compensate. Lets add on all the Green Party’s extravagant spending and we are talking billions of dollars that have to be found. Politicians have to wake up that it is our money and not theirs to give away to try and get into the corridors of power.

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  41. hj (7,033 comments) says:

    At my medical center you are in and out, it is fast through put. The doctors burn out and get bad tempered. My doctor didn’t realise I (Patient Number One) had a chronic illness, apparently he was too busy to look up my notes. I had a bad back with a protruding disk. After 6 weeks I got an Xray and a few weeks after that they had an orthopedic surgeon. He told me my back was worn and he could do a procedure but I would be back in two years to have it done again: and “there are 20 people offering services but none of them will do you any good”. But don’t worry, you’ll be all right. Just for sauce he let loose with… “and don’t bother Dr N” Bit of a black comedy (I thought).

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  42. hj (7,033 comments) says:

    I don’t suppose the high cost of accommodation helps the down and out. The Savings Working Group (described by blogger Matt Nolan as ” a group of great thinkers”) once said:
    A simple pricing model for property investment based on a required risk premium for after-tax returns
    relative to the after-tax returns on government bonds indicates that the favourable tax treatment of
    property investment relative to neutral treatment accounts for a good proportion, about 50%, of house
    price increases (Table 2).
    and
    The relationship between migration flows and housing prices has been analysed by Coleman and
    Landon-Lane (2007). They found that a net immigration flow equal to 1% of the population (10 per
    1000 inhabitants) is associated with an approximately 10% increase in house prices. This relationship
    has existed since the 1960s. Limiting immigration swings could therefore lead to a substantial reduction
    in future house prices and housing debt.

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  43. Harriet (4,988 comments) says:

    “……Labour’s policy is a generous subsidy to the least needy group in the country. It’s also a very large group of people with high health-care needs and giving them ‘free’ access to healthcare is going to cause a huge increase in demand for primary health services…..”

    Meanwhile the hypersexuals don’t pay bedroom tax — or Pay As You Go sexual healthcare — like everyone has to do with dentistry.

    No……they just keep rocking up to healthcare providers time and time again for ‘free stuff’.

    How do these people keep getting sexual related treatment such as reconstructive surgery for free – when old people have to pay for a basic medical check-up ?

    Be it smokes, drink, fat and suger – everyone is taxed in someway so as to restrict the damage they may do to themselves through excess consumption, but hypersexuals don’t have any restraints at all placed upon them by government – hence the problems that they have, diseases, operations, depression, drink and drug addiction, relationship breakdown, suicide, ect

    Why does National support excess sexual activity which damages individuals, and why do they expect the public to keep paying for it?

    I think old people should speak up more.

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  44. brownballs (2 comments) says:

    I’m totally sick of watching Labour bribe their way into power, leaving the country to pay their bribes for ever. DPB, working for families, int free student loans. It just goes on and the promises from all the left block must be well over 30 million now. They are a pack of fiscally irresponsible plonkers . And their supporters have no idea of the consequences .

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