It’s election year and I’ll vote for the party that really cares about our suicide rate, that’s my vote getter this year.

So the “esteemed” Mike Hosking this week told everyone who would listen that tax breaks are the vote winner this year.

Bluntly, bugger off Mike. You worked hard to get as lucky as you did but like John Key, you too have forgotten how it is on the real streets of New Zealand.

To understand why I feel this way, read this article and watch Mike King’s brilliant doco.

It won’t hurt if like me you know one suicide victim, know the family of another, have had a family member threaten it and be a friend to someone who battles suicidal thoughts.

Then you may understand.

If you’re all about the economy, then understand this, the average value of a lifetime in New Zealand is just short of $4 million. That means that with suicides between 500 and 600 a year, we are losing literally billions of dollars of economic value every year.

For the road toll, that runs half to two thirds this number, we have an enforcement programme worth $300 million a year according to the Transport Agency’s website. According to info at the health.govt.nz website “The Government has committed $25 million over 4 years to implement the 30 actions in the New Zealand Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2013–2016.” So in other words we spend 2% of what we spend on enforcing road safety on preventing suicide. Do I need to draw the lines between the dots for you? I hope not. It’s obvious that the government has not prioritised this very serious issue with funding.

I measure this tragedy in terms of grief and the loss of a loved one. Not money. But money is at the heart of the solution for the problem.

I don’t want a tax break Mr English. I want to live in a country that cares about protecting the most vulnerable amongst us. I’ll vote for the party with the best action plan to improve this bloody awful situation. I have written to the Leaders of each of the political parties with MP’s in Parliament today to ask their views on the topic. As I gather this info, I’ll share it with you.

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