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Budget funeral grant initiative shows way to go

Budget funeral grant initiative shows the way to go

The Budget announcement today of an increase in the grant that helps low-income earners with loved ones' funeral costs points the way towards effective 'access' policies by the government.

Education Forum policy advisor Norman LaRocque praised the government's approach to ensuring that those on low incomes had access to social services.

"The government is to be praised for using funding, rather than other policy mechanisms, as a means of ensuring access to funeral services for those on low-incomes."

Mr LaRocque was pleased to see that the government had decided not to set up a network of 'free' publicly-owned funeral homes as a means of providing access to social services - the mechanism used in education and health.

"The funeral grant is a 'voucher' in all but name," he said.

"We strongly support the use of such 'voucher-type' schemes in programmes relating to the dead, and we look forward to their extension to programmes relating to those who are very much alive in the New Zealand school sector."

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