Grey Power hits out over asset threshold
The more prudent elderly people going into rest homes have been with their money, the more they will have to pay, Grey Power says.
Changes to the asset threshold for subsidised aged residential care took effect on July 1.
The threshold will now increase by the consumer price index (CPI) annually, instead of by $10,000 a year.
Grey Power national president Roy Reid, who lives in Golden Bay, said the changes were not good.
The changes had been made with absolutely no consultation, he said.
"We got a very short brief on Budget day, we were just told, `This is what's going to happen'. We would have opposed it [if we had had the chance] because Grey Power worked pretty hard for a number of years to get that threshold put in place."
The threshold should have gone up to $220,000 this year, but instead increased by just more than $3000. In three years the level would be $25,000 below what it should have been, Mr Reid said.
Health Minister Tony Ryall told Parliament when legislation for the change was being passed under urgency that it simply slowed the rate at which the threshold rose.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said the bill was a priority to make aged residential care viable in the long term.
Mr Reid said the unfairness of the change meant that if someone went into a rest home with no money, the Government would pay for their care. But, if someone had saved their money, and their assets were assessed as higher than the threshold, they could be in the next room paying out of their own pocket.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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