February 11, 2018: Your say on health funding, pensioners’ election issues

John Coulson, of Dilston, asks for more evidence behind funding.
John Coulson, of Dilston, asks for more evidence behind funding.

Bottomless Pits

HEALTH and education are great motherhood topics the parties ramp up at election time.

But each are bottomless pits where never enough money is thought to be spent.

Spending public money at either should be backed up with evidence to show it will be effective.

Health funding increases must be targeted at reducing known problems such as outpatient care and should not end up swallowed into a general pool, with a lot of it wasted on bureaucracy rather than on medical issues.

Increased education funding must aim at improving educational outcomes. But the history of past increased monies in this area is not good as it appears the general education standards of students are declining.

Unfortunately vested interests in both these areas confuse the public who end up feeling that more funding is the answer when the problem is more likely the ineffective use of current funding. 

Throwing more at it ends up a waste of taxpayer's hard earned and relatively scarce resources.

So, are any politicians brave enough to stipulate that yes, they will investigate health and educational problems but will only allocate funding after the need for it has been justified? 

If that need is not established then the funding will go elsewhere where there is obviously more public benefit.

John Coulson, Dilston.

THE PROMISES

A bridge over troubled waters one for the oldies.

The race is on, both major parties are out of the barrier going head to head with the promises of major works, all too familiar. Mostly above ground level.

Below ground level where drainage pipes are invisible there is not the slightest glimmer of interest to tackle the Launceston drainage problems. All parties have admitted defeat – It's too hard, costs too much, who cares anyway?

This is the mentality of the decision makers, all apparently tarred with the same brush.

Hugh Boyd, Prospectvale.

Pensioner vote

I DO NOT see much difference between the politics of Labor or Liberal but there is one group in Tasmania that will have a bearing on the result of the coming election. 

That is the pensioner population, which forms about a quarter of eligible voters. I doubt many in this group are concerned about the Charles Street bridge replacement or the resurfacing of some back road.

Rather they may be thinking more on how they will manage their living costs during the coming winter, after the election has come and gone. 

Pensioners paid for their retirement through taxation during their working lives and part of this was to go to the pension fund, rather than general revenue. 

They do not live on handouts. Water and sewerage costs have doubled the average rates bill and living costs increase gradually.  

It is obvious that the Turnbull government has lost sight of pensioners, evidenced by it pittance increase in pensions over the years. Hardly enough to buy a cup of coffee on pension day.

Lyle Cook, Shearwater.

Help now

WHILE THE Labor policy of preventative  medicine is laudable, unfortunately it’s too late to help those who need solutions and treatment now.

If you are in urgent need of knee reconstruction, or a hip replacement and are in constant pain, it’s hard to see past tomorrow, let alone five years in the future.

While I am free of those kind of problems, I am aware of acquaintances who have them and are becoming depressed, which is another burden to carry.

Ron Baines, King Meadows.

Australia Day 

I READ with great interest all the letters on The Australia Day date debate and I can’t help but ponder how our first inhabitants feel on this day.

If we are to ever feel truly as one united country should we not have a day that celebrates us all remembering that until the day of federation, we were not Australia but a colony of England; a nation of very poorly treated convicts and displaced lndigenous people who don’t get proper recognition.

Doreen E. Baker, West Launceston.

Public Figures

I AGREE Braddon Liberal MHA  Adam Brooks does need to pay a larger fine, but not for the reasons given (The Examiner, January 31).

It’s the position Mr Brooks holds - he is a public figure and needs to be setting a far better example to the rest of the community. The speeding fine has nought to do with wealth, it’s about respect for the position that is held. How can our young learn respect when respect is ignored by their elders?

Enid Denman, Beauty Point.

Gambling Greed

I WONDER what my long passed grandfather would have made of the no pokies, no Anzac Day march non-issue? He was president of a sub-branch in a small town and they never had any resources at all. 

Every year they organised their own march and remembrance. This money thing is a political furphy used by spin doctors on gullible people, so good on the RSL for taking a stand.

Peter Taylor, Midway Point.

Australian TV

IN REPLY to Len Langford (Letters, The Examiner, February 3) you obviously don't watch the additional channels of ABC Television, SBS, or SBS Viceland.

If you are watching the programs you mention, you are obviously watching the wrong channel. I am very happy with the choice on television, and find I have plenty of worthwhile programs to watch. 

I have the added facility of recording programs, which I do on a regular basis.

Anne Hermans, Port Sorell.