Grey Power Otago has hit out at a Budget the organisation's
president said was aimed at attracting the youth vote.
Jo Millar said the Budget had plenty for children and
families, students and tertiary organisations, but little for
''There's not much in here at all, as far as the elderly are
Initiatives in the Budget specifically for older people were
in the health area, including an additional $110 million for
elective surgery, and $40 million additional support for
elderly, including people with dementia.
Mrs Millar said it was disappointing the Government had
provided $90 million to provide free GP visits and
prescriptions for children aged under 13 - something she
supported - but nothing similar for older people.
Grey Power Otago would also have liked to have seen money set
aside to help older people stay socially active.
''They say they want to keep people in their homes and
independent,'' Mrs Millar said.
More money for the social agencies that have the structures
to deal with that would have been helpful.
Mrs Millar also raised concerns about the elective surgery
She said extra money needed to be ring-fenced, and was
concerned health boards would concentrate on smaller, cheaper
operations, rather than hip operations, to keep up with
Age Concern Otago was more circumspect.
Funding, communication, and projects manager Niall Shepherd
said he welcomed the $40 million additional support for the
''Anything is better than nothing.''
While Mr Shepherd would have liked to see more for the
elderly, he said he understood many sectors needed help.