Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The cost of National: third-world diseases and dead kids

The Herald this mornign has an appalling report on the human cost of a National government: third-world diseases and dead kids:

Diseases linked to cold, damp, overcrowded homes are killing more New Zealand children than car crashes or drownings.

An average 20 children die and 30,000 are hospitalised every year from preventable, housing-related diseases like asthma, pneumonia and bronchiolitis, health statistics show.

Poor areas suffer the most - suburbs like Auckland's Pt England and parts of Glen Eden - because of high deprivation and low incomes, lots of rental housing and fewer Europeans.

The illnesses peak in winter. They kill more children than either car crashes or drownings, which claim an average 10 lives a year each.

And this is National's fault. The graph of hospitalisations for bronchiectasis makes that clear. As for the why, its because they've reduced access to both social housing and benefits, effectively grinding the poor even deeper into poverty. And they're paying a serious price for it.

It is utterly obscene that this is allowed to happen. These diseases and this death toll are perfectly preventable. We know what is needed to prevent them: a warrant of fitness and mandatory insulation and heating standards for rental homes, more and better social housing, easier access to primary health care. National opposes all that, preferring instead to support the interests of landlords (which many National MPs happen to be). Its a perfect example of the moral bankruptcy of the government - and why we need to throw them out.