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Editorial: From pills to prodigies

Last updated 05:00 19/02/2013

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OPINION: Today, five quick thoughts.

Number one: The rise in prescription fees from $3 to $5 from January 1.

Seven weeks on and this one is still drawing comment, the latest from a Christchurch pharmacy owner saying the increase was too expensive for some, and Labour MP Maryan Street saying the increase could have life-threatening consequences.

Really?

Some perspective please, and I'm not even talking about the fact the charge hasn't risen for 20 years.

The perspective is this. The charge, whether it's $3 or $5, applies only to 20 prescription items per person or family per year. So at most we're talking $40 a year.

Life-threatening consequences ... I don't think so.

I have more sympathy, however, for the $3 a week additional charge for blister-packed prescriptions following the removal of a health board subsidy.

Two: No smoking in cars, says a university researcher, because of the exposure to children.

Heard the phrase, "death by a thousand cuts"? This is another cut in the battle to make the country smokefree by 2025.

Watch out, one day when driving your own car you won't be allowed to speed, talk on your cellphone or be drunk. Oh, hang on...

Three: Opposition parties are calling for the referendum on asset sales to be held in conjunction with October's local body elections, to save on costs.

Excellent idea. Don't hold your breath, though. That wouldn't suit National.

Four: Small story at the bottom of yesterday's business page, saying 4.5 per cent of KiwiSaver members have put their payments on hold, presumably because they can't afford it.

Surprising in itself, but another figure stated 44 per cent of ASB KiwiSavers were not contributing to their retirement accounts, but only 3 per cent were on contribution holidays.

I can only think a lot of them must be retired. Otherwise, what the heck is going on?

Five: Lydia Ko. My, my, my.

Third in the Australian Golf Open. As an amateur. As a 15-year-old.

And she was disappointed. Mind you, who wouldn't be when you had 13 more shots in your last round compared with your first. Golf fans here were disappointed.

But get a grip.

Three professional tournament wins in 12 starts, the world's top-ranked woman amateur for two years.

Amazing.

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- The Timaru Herald

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