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VICTORY! Government to increase medicine funding 💊

Dear Supporter,

First the good news: moments ago, the Prime Minister announced that the Government will be increasing funding to Pharmac by $604 million (that's nearly $300/household) over the next four years for essential medicines like cancer drugs.

But, to our astonishment, the Government's media release gives absolutely no indication of how they are paying for it! That would suggest, yet again, that politicians in Wellington are spending money New Zealanders don't have.

BREAKING: Government increases funding for medicines 

According to the Government's media release, the extra funding will see up to 54 new medicines (including 26 new cancer treatments) become available.

But other than saying this is a ‘pre-commitment against next year’s Budget’, there is no detail on where this money is coming from. There is no mention of what wasteful spending will be cut – and with the Government's books in the red, we simply can't afford to keep borrowing more (watch live the Debt Clock go tick-tock...)

As you know, the team and I have worked tirelessly fighting to convince the Government to increase funding for Pharmac and spoilt them for choice when it comes to areas where savings could be made to fund it. 

The most obvious area for savings was the hundreds of millions in corporate welfare to the film and video game sectors. But today's announcement leaves that wasteful spending totally untouched.

So on the one hand, the Government listened to the thousands of New Zealanders who emailed the Government urging them to prioritise funding for Pharmac. For those Kiwis who will benefit from today's announcement, it will be a huge relief.

But on the other hand, failing to set out how this extra Pharmac funding will be paid for is simply lazy and is kicking the can down the road. With the current level of detail, we are left to assume they will be borrowing the difference. Lumping New Zealand with an even larger interest bill robs us of options in the long term to continue to fund essential medicines and good public services. 

Spending money is easy. Reprioritising is harder.

Continuing the 'spend now, worry later' approach of the previous government is very disappointing. That approach is what got us into the financial pickle that caused the Government to break its cancer drug promise in the first place!

Yes, it's good that these medicines are funded. But we can't let ourselves settle into a state of acceptance where we allow ourselves to get poorer and poorer by failing to balance out new spending with cutting waste. 

In the coming days and weeks, we will continue to press Nicola Willis and her Government hard over their priorities in order to force her to explain where this funding will come from.

We successfully pressured them to announce the spending on these drugs, now it's time to find the savings to fund it. 

Thank you for your support.


Connor Molloy
Campaigns Manager

New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union


Showing 1 reaction

  • Connor Molloy
    published this page in News 2024-06-25 08:06:38 +1200

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