The following is a note from Diana Whalen, Deputy Leader of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party, on the NDP Government’s response to the overpayment of seniors enrolled in the Nova Scotia Pharmacare Program…
Recently, the NDP announced they would not return $25.00 owed to each of the 101,078 Nova Scotia seniors enrolled in the Seniors’ Pharmacare Program. In making this decision, the health minister decided her government needed the $2.5 million more than vulnerable seniors in our province. This decision was wrong.
When in Opposition, the NDP talked about seniors being forced to reach further into their pockets to pay for health care. They spoke of fairness for all Nova Scotians during the election. If they truly practiced what they preached, they would return this overpayment to seniors, either directly or through reduced premiums and co-pay costs. That would be the fair thing to do. That would be the right thing to do.
This government decision, however, is just one in a series of NDP money grabs from the pockets of seniors.
On November 1, 2009, seniors living in nursing homes received a bill requesting an additional $250.00 per month for accommodation charges. Annually, this represents a $3000 increase over last year. For seniors living in the community who support a spouse in a nursing home, this is a life-altering increase and will result in great financial hardship.
As our coldest months grip us, Nova Scotians turn their attention to the Heating Assistance Rebate Program. It is anticipated that half of the rebates issued this year will be to seniors. Thanks to the NDP government, seniors and indeed all others who apply and qualify for heating assistance will be receiving $250.00 less than they did last year. To add to this financial squeeze, recent musings by this government of a possible 2% HST increase will hurt those on fixed incomes the most. Seniors once again will be a target of this NDP government’s money grab.
For seniors, the past nine months have been difficult as they have borne the brunt of government decisions that have impacted them financially. This NDP government has let our seniors down by failing to protect them as promised. Seniors in our province deserve better.
MLA, Halifax-Clayton Park
Deputy Leader, Nova Scotia Liberal Party