Why not means test home support?

The Herald reports:

Looking at the financial circumstances of elderly people before providing home support has been ruled out by the Government.

Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga seemed to indicate such a step was being considered to help cope with the increasing cost of home support.

About 72,000 seniors currently receive home support, and that number and the associated cost is growing.

In question time today, Labour’s health spokeswoman Annette King asked Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga what work was currently underway to look at and asset testing for older New Zealanders needing home and community support services.

“There is work being done on the health of older persons strategy, that does involve looking at the increasing flexibility and responsiveness of funding streams. It also looks at improving the integration and collaboration within the health sector,” Mr Lotu-Iiga said in response.

However, this evening his office clarified that means testing and asset testing was not being considered.

That’s a pity. You can do more for those who genuinely need help, if you target assistance to those less well off.

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