Where did Winston pluck his prostate policy from?

Prostate cancer is a major problem for men as they age. About 3000 of us in New Zealand are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, and about 600 die from it each year.

Promoting testing and detection of prostate cancer is a laudable aim, but the way Winston Peters has proposed incentivising getting check-ups seems rather odd.

NZ Herald: No prostate check, no tax refund? Winston wants changes

Winston Peters says changes are needed to get more Kiwi men to have their prostate health checked – saying tax refunds could be withheld until such check-ups are made.

The New Zealand First caucus has discussed what could be done to get more men to have check-ups, Peters told the Herald. Policy had been developed but hadn’t been released yet.

“What I’m saying is there should be serious incentivisation for people to go and get checked. Because it is costing the state a packet because of their lack of early detection, they end up being a charge or their dependants become a charge on the state,” Peters said.

“It is just a bad neglect of human capital. And of course there are appalling figures.”

Peters said one possible change would be to withhold tax refunds unless a man could prove he had a check-up. That wouldn’t necessarily require a doctor’s certificate.

“These days you can computerise all these things … this is far easier than it used to be. I don’t want people to be filling out forms.”

Promoting check-ups is a good thing, but using money owed to you by Inland Revenue is mad and badly targeted. It would only affect men who have over payed tax. Most people with regular earnings have accurate tax deductions so won’t be due refunds.

Where has this idea come from?

The Herald spoke to Peters after he talked about the need for changes while answering questions from an audience at the Gisborne Cosmopolitan Club. He said not nearly enough was being done to prevent illness, citing prostate cancer as an example.

Peters appears to be made this idea up on the fly. I can’t see any mention of a prostate policy on the NZ First website.

“Prostate cancer is a psychological condition more than anything else – mainly of men who need a good kick up you-know-where,” Peters told the gathering.

The severity of prostate cancer may be in part be due to psychological resistance to having a doctor put their finger up your arse, but cancer is not “a psychological condition”.

“Frankly, if I had my way I would have further compulsory requirements for every male in this country, so it goes something like this – your taxation is that, but you are not getting it back until I see you with an annualised check or a two-yearly check.

“Why? Because the moment things go wrong, there is a massive cost to the state of dependence.”

There has to be better ways of doing it. A better incentive may be to only issue gold cards to men who have been tested, but that would be inappropriate as well.

Prostate Cancer Foundation NZ has campaigned for men to not “die of embarrassment” and get checked regularly. There are two tests: the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and the digital rectal exam. Men aged 50-plus should be making these appointments regularly.

I may have had it checked a few years ago, maybe I should get around to it again some time, but threatening withholding a tax refund is not going to make any difference.

I had calculated tax to pay of 21 cents last year.

Why has Peters brought this up? Is there a reason he has the state of prostates on his mind?

Whatever, it’s a good idea but a bad incentive.

19 Comments

  1. newt

     /  September 17, 2017

    Maybe the rumours about him [deleted, no evidence provided] are true.

  2. patupaiarehe

     /  September 17, 2017

    Good God! Even I am not going to attempt to defend this! Winston & I need to have a little ‘chat’. I may report back here later to clarify this ‘policy’… 😉

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  September 17, 2017

      What about those people who don’t have tax refunds anyway ?

  3. Conspiratoor

     /  September 17, 2017

    A sideshow. Spreading rumours and bad mouthing politicians or folks we dont like seems to be par for the course in todays politics and political blogs. Any polly, winston included, finds themselves forced to defend themselves against these rumours.

    My hypothesis is that folks who have decided to go with nz1st have based their decision on a few key policies and won’t give a rats arse about this nonsense, just as we saw with trump.

  4. patupaiarehe

     /  September 17, 2017

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  September 17, 2017

      EHHHHHH ??????

      • patupaiarehe

         /  September 17, 2017

        It’s called satire Kitty. It’s a little like me pretending I have hidden cameras at your place… 😉

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  September 17, 2017

          Turn that camera off ! If I cross-dress in private, that’s my business.

          It was a very clever satire indeed, Don’t just use it here, there must be other people who could use a ggod larf.

          The awful thing is that one can imagine him really writing that after he’s had a few whiskies.

  5. pickled possum

     /  September 17, 2017

    Having Lost a few men-folk from ‘man cancer’
    I think your Gold card idea is the better one pete.

    Sometimes men just need that little shove-incentive to cheerfully,
    have a Doc stick his finga up where the sun never shines.

    Money or the saving of it is a good incentive to have the check-up
    All cancer has a ripple life changing effect on the family, work place mates and friends.

    Financially, the cost is better spent on diagnosis.
    The alternative maybe a slow death for some.

    Winston IMO is the on to it. 😉
    How When and Why he came up with the idea is irrelevant.
    The fact is, IT (prostate cancer) … is being talked about in a positive way.

    • patupaiarehe

       /  September 17, 2017

      Mr Peters isn’t silly. He knows perfectly well that the best way to draw attention to an issue is to wind up the MSM. Had he simply stated that annual prostate exams are a far better alternative than an early death, no-one would have paid him any attention.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  September 17, 2017

        The problem is that his solution is so silly that it’s overshadowed the issue of prostate cancer.

        It has about the same number of victims as breast cancer, but has nothing like the same amount of publicity and, it seems. sympathy.

        There is also cancer of the testicles-when did we last have a campaign about that ?

        • patupaiarehe

           /  September 17, 2017

          The problem is that his solution is so silly that it’s overshadowed the issue of prostate cancer.

          Has it? It has certainly got people talking about it. Of course his solution is silly, exactly how do you think something like that would pass into law? 😀

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  September 17, 2017

            Well, it never could. But the ‘solution’ is so absurd that it is what people will talk about and remember, rather than the problem, I fear.

            An ad campaign like the cervical smear one would be a better idea.

            • pickled possum

               /  September 17, 2017

              Miss were you a doctor in another life?
              I was informed that if you only have one sexual partner
              in your life time you will never get cervical cancer.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 18, 2017

              Whoever said that was wrong. One doesnt need to be a doctor to know that. It lessens the chances, yes, but it isn’t a guarantee. There is more than one kind and cause, so anyone who thinks that they will never get it is mistaken and living with false security.

  1. Where did Winston pluck his prostate policy from? — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition