ᔥ NZ Herald
The left wing parties are upset over changes to rest home subsidy qualifications.
Labour has accused the Government of trying to sneak through a change which will mean fewer elderly people qualify for rest home subsidies which are asset-tested.
The Bill to make the change was introduced as part of the Budget. It will mean the asset threshold below which the elderly qualify for Government subsidies towards their care will increase by the rate of inflation every year, rather than the annual increase of $10,000 which previously applied.
It is likely to mean the asset threshold raises at a lower rate in the future, so fewer people will qualify.
Under the change, the threshold from July 2012 will increase to $213,297 rather than $220,000 for a single person or a married couple both of whom are in care. It will increase to $116,806 – rather than $125,000 – for married couples where one of them is in care.
The Health Ministry has estimated it will mean 260 people next year are no longer eligible for the subsidy, rising to 1040 people in 2015/16.
This is a good change. It basically requires people to pay for their own care instead of the government providing subsidies. All the subsidies are doing currently is getting taxpayers to subsidise the inheritance of the off spring of people in aged care.
The reality of aged care now is that few people enter a rest home from choice, particularly in Auckland. If you are in a rest home you are never coming out except in a box and so any money spent by the taxpayer and not the aged is simply a subsidy for the inheritence for their offspring.
It is not the responsibility of government to ensure legacies are preserved for children.