Sunday, September 16, 2007

The SuperGold Card Fiasco

Well after much debate we all agree that the SuperGold Card is a dead duck, it has been launched poorly with not many actual benefits that matter to over 65s and Winston Peters has come across, I feel, like he thinks we’re all idiots telling us that this card is card must make a "real difference" then demonstrating it makes very little, if any, difference to the over 65s that need it most.

State Insurance
The “No excess to apply for customers 55+ on their contents comprehensive policy for claims involving spectacles, dentures, hearing aids or contact lenses” benefit is available to all over 65s on this particular policy, SuperGold Card or not, it was available before the SuperGold Card came out which means…this is not a SuperGold Card benefit.

Auckland Regional Council Busses and Trains
The “40% off normal adult fare for most bus, train and ferry services after 9am Mon-Fri all weekend” is not useable with the SuperGold Card, you need to go to MAXX and get another card to prove you’re over 65, this also was in effect before the SuperGold Card which means again, this is not a SuperGold Card benefit.

There are some genuine benefits from the SuperGold Card, such as the guys at Kiwi Campers. These guys are obviously doing their part with a generous blanket 20% discount to SuperGold Card holders. However through Kiwi Campers, a mid range, mid season camper will cost retail $216 per day. Kiwi Campers has a minimum 5 day hire, which equals $1080, less the 20% discount would be $864. I ask you, those that need the SuperGold Card the most…will this help?

All this along with a patronizing advert telling seniors that “you’re worth it” and the final insult, from Winston Peters’ own speech on 29th August 2007 where he told us of the SuperGold Card, “it had to be more than a token gesture - it had to have tangible benefits that could make a real difference. And it had to take account of varied circumstances and be relevant for all lifestyles.”

This has been, and I believe will continue to be, a farce. It is a great idea; it has been executed poorly and without the promised benefits. How much did this card cost the taxpayers? Was that money worth it? Should that money just been given to the over 65s?

Winston has fulfilled his election promise, but it’s a bit like me, telling my sweetheart that I would buy her a ring for her birthday, then I give here one from the $2 shop…I have fulfilled my promise, but we all know it’s a piece of crap…