“Having to pay for my own cancer treatment is hard enough, but being slapped with GST doesn’t sound very nice from where I’m sitting.” Photo/Sherry Yates, 123rf
The furor over the proposal to tax Kiwisaver fees raises another question about GST and retirement savings.
I have a rare form of cancer that the public health system is not funded to treat. We
We were forced to do nothing and let nature take its course or finance the treatment ourselves from our managed retirement “nest”. This involves us “going private” and buying modern drugs ourselves at a cost of almost $10,000 every three weeks – including GST. In addition to the substantial cost of drugs and the cost of administering them, we are slapped by the government with 15% GST. To date, it’s cost us about $60,000. We have already paid taxes on the money in our “retirement nest egg” and we pay taxes on the income it generates, i.e. interest etc.
Having to pay for my own treatment is hard enough, but being slapped with GST doesn’t sound very “nice” from where I’m sitting. People with cancer are not the only ones dealing with it, children and other people with diseases and rare diseases are in the same boat.
I have written to the Minister of Revenue, but there are no plans to change the system.
A. Paul, Hamilton.
Void of information
Auckland Council has not provided enough information for people to understand the potential impact of proposed housing changes as part of Plan Change 78. A summary of the likely effects anticipated should have been provided for each area metropolitan, downtown, and transportation route, as well as more clarity on the likely effect of three-story densification on residential sites in each sector.
The public shouldn’t have to sift through tons of documents. Council should clarify the following: The land area is being rezoned for six storeys and up, with the expected increase in population in the local area; the number of new schools needed and passive and active leisure parks; the likely impact on public transport and local roads; additional services required, such as hospitals, police stations, libraries, etc. ; additional land required; where new facilities will be provided, the likely cost thereof; more who will finance it.
The council should make this information available online and in libraries now with an extension to the submission deadline or withdraw the plan pending its availability. The same approach should be followed by relevant councils across New Zealand.
Victoria Lowe, Shamrock Park.
One way change
If the government insists that Auckland’s boutique heritage villas be replaced by ugly apartment buildings, Auckland will lose a whole era of its social history.
This happened on the Mt Maunganui/Papamoa waterfront, where perhaps a handful of typical tarps remain.
You can never get that back.
Tiena Jordan, Whakatane.
Gravity of the offense
A nine-month house arrest sentence was imposed on Jayden Meyer (NZ Herald, September 6) after he was found guilty of a total of four counts of sexual assault and four counts of rape, and two counts of indecent act; these offenses being committed against victims aged 15 years. Sexual offenses (including rape) carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
For many years I worked as a probation officer and prepared hundreds of pre-sentence reports. When determining a sentence, a judge must take into account the provisions of the Sentencing Act 2002. Essentially, a court must consider the seriousness of the offence, but must also give weight to the personal circumstances of the offender, the alleged remorse and the possibility of rehabilitation.
Remarkably, this sentence, which can in no way meet the requirement of the Sentencing Act to pronounce a sentence which “must take into account the seriousness of the offence”, was supported by the prosecutor of the Crown. There is a dire need for legislation that limits a judge’s discretion and thus sees the justice system deliver justice in a way that reflects the harm done to victims.
Bruce Anderson, Christ Church.
Suppression of crime
The government has finally realized that crime doesn’t pay (NZ Herald, September 6) but, so far, it certainly has. For many, beautifully.
Generally, with an election coming up next year and a decline in popularity, we are now seeing urgent action being taken to tackle the problem. very much like National’s response to male runners and got next to nothing.
It should have been done from the beginning, not now, when the crime has taken root. I guess it’s more about garnering votes than actually solving the problem.
Watch this place.
Paul Beck, West Harbour.
When considering the consequences for young offenders, most of these children will suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) or brain damage caused by mothers using drugs during pregnancy.
One of the results of FAS is not seeing the consequences of their actions. The threatening consequences will therefore not resonate.
Maybe we need to share more information about the effects of drugs and alcohol during pregnancy?
A classmate and neighbor of mine suffered from FAS and spent much of his life in prison. His biological mother was an alcoholic. It always made me sad.
Rosemary Wakeman, Orewa.
Defense Force soldiers have been ordered not to travel to Ukraine. Every soldier knows and is instilled in training the importance of following orders. No army can function well without it.
Order tracking includes when you are on unpaid leave and still on duty. It’s amazing that we have soldiers who can’t follow orders and are still allowed to serve.
Recent comments by Ron Mark (NZ Herald, September 6) effectively support this behavior. He, more than anyone else, should know better and accept reprimand.
Bernard Jennings, Wellington.
The huge loss of money due to white-collar crime translates into underfunding of, for example, health care, which means expensive cancer drugs go unfunded.
Theft through tax evasion or other white-collar crime is personal and affects us all.
Not as noticeable as ram raids, but just as damaging.
Susan Grimsdell, Auckland Central.
The annual liquor license for my restaurant needs to be renewed and I wondered if the period of the license should be extended to account for the four months of closure in 2021 as we were unable to open and could not trade .
Auckland Council, which administers the license, informs me that the fee is determined by central government and it has been decided not to provide any extension fees.
I can’t help thinking that I paid for something that wasn’t delivered.
Lesley Baillie, Murray’s Bay.
Interesting how future mayors of Auckland promise to create free bus travel.
Nothing is free, so who will pay for this service? Yes, you guessed it in one of us bloody taxpayers.
Who do these “intelligent” people think they are? We are already paying more than the odds for a supercity bureaucracy that is so confusing. Now they want us to take the bill for a “free” bus service.
And then, free taxis?
Bob Jessopp, Massey.
short and sweet
On the offenders
Why are parents not held accountable when their children cause destruction and/or do not attend school? Wendy Tighe-Umbers, Parnell.
It’s a joke, trying to rehabilitate young ram raiders when they’re 17. Better to put money into dysfunctional families when they are born. P. Skipworth, Auckland Central.
How appropriate was Daron Parton’s photo on the government’s recently released “Better Pathways” program? Brilliant and so true. Phil Dunbier, Kerikeri.
On the mayor
I haven’t headed north to the hills of Bombay in recent weeks, but I guess the candidate notice boards are up. I suggest that David Shand’s article (NZH, September 6) on the hard questions to ask be projected on each of these palisades. Pronto. Gerard Rennie, Hamilton.
On the tongue
I have read your article (NZH, September 5) on the plain language bill and the requirement to appoint plain language officers to monitor this bill in all departments. Please tell me that the article was printed by mistake now instead of April 1st. David Hill, Tauranga.
If Christopher Luxon wants an investigation into Rotorua’s motel problems, he might like to start with the $30 million in state homes his party sold to balance the books before losing the 2017 election. J McCormick, Gisborne.
The premium debate
Prebble: Investigation needed into Covid response
Agree 100%. Why didn’t the government follow the already existing New Zealand pandemic plan to begin with, which was the method followed by Sweden? The government was forced into the first lockdown by Simon Bridges and the pandemic committee, received huge praise for the action, became hooked in the adoration of the media, local and around the world. Then goofed over the next two and a half years. Let’s consider whether we should have followed or deviated from our pandemic plan in order to have a better plan for next time. Emily S.
Professor Jay Bhattacharya is, of course, one of the academics behind the Grand Barrington statement and therefore a source of Covid ‘misinformation’. I agree with Richard, but in his list of unfortunate outcomes he didn’t even mention social division and loss of faith in our institutions. Ian B.
A hand-picked review (which has little support) is the basis of another Prebble attack on the government. Everyone seems to forget that the approach avoided an overflow of hospitals, which would have had disastrous consequences. This urge to revisit is just a pretext for Prebble to lament. Undoubtedly, some mistakes were made and no one can know what the detailed results of a different approach would have been. Gary B.
We don’t need another ridiculous investigation. Just use the Swedish model. Kristy H.
For all the damage done to this country with division, inequality, labor crises, health crises, etc., we absolutely need a commission on the management of Covid. Of course Labor doesn’t want it, it will look awful. Anna M.
Scientists around the world are learning and will continue to learn from the many different responses to Covid. Politicians, governments and Prebble should leave it to these experts. Suzanne H.