Budget Mismatch – Unemployment set to rise but limited investment in jobs and skills – CTU
The CTU has criticised today’s Budget for not doing enough to stimulate the jobs market and invest in skills.
Peter Conway, CTU Secretary, said: “This was always going to be a tough Budget requiring difficult choices. But the Government could have done more in the short run to boost employment and has actually reduced planned funding on industry training.”
Conway said that the CTU welcomes the home insulation programme which, providing stretched households can find money for their contribution, will create some jobs, assist with healthy housing, and reduce heating costs and energy consumption.
“But it could have been scaled up and combined with other job creation schemes to really assist the growing numbers of unemployed. Add in more investment in skills, allow for expanded tertiary education numbers, and scale up advice and support for those laid off and then we would have seen a budget about jobs and people.”
The central forecast in today’s Budget was for unemployment to rise to 8 percent or 179,000. That means many more households and communities will be impacted by unemployment as well as creating added cost to the Government. Very little was announced in today’s Budget to directly address those already facing unemployment.
Conway continued that the ‘road to recovery’ appears to be a low road except for increased infrastructure spending. Very little was said today about research and development, boosting skills or promoting innovation.
Other major issues for unions include the very low allocation for new funding for Budget 2010 ($1.1 billion) which implies cuts to health and education. The Government has signalled the likelihood of ongoing deferral in NZ Super Fund contributions potentially impacting on future entitlements.