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Funding boost for budget advice services

Sunday, 27 January 2002
Media Statement

Funding boost for budget advice services

Over $600,000 of new funding is to be invested in voluntary budget advice services, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey announced today.

During 2001 the 144 budget services that are affiliated to the New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services received 249,449 enquiries and worked with 38,077 client families who collectively owed about $168 million.

Steve Maharey said budget services report that the cases they assist with are becoming more complex and difficult to resolve. In addition falling numbers of people are making themselves available to volunteer their time as budget advisers.

“I’m pleased to be able to announce extra money to provide help to those struggling to make ends meet.

“The extra funding will help deal with the pressures faced by budget services, and will enable some paid budget advisers to be employed to provide continuity. The funds will also ensure that the new recruits are fully trained. It is also a recognition that the services have had real funding levels eroded over the last five years.

“The allocation of $619,000 this financial year was decided on after consulting about distribution criteria with umbrella budget services groups.

“This announcement comes at a particularly busy time for budget advisory services. Christmas and summer holiday bills are now arriving in letterboxes and many families will find it difficult to cope without quality budget advice,” Steve Maharey said.

A regional breakdown of where the $619,000 is going is attached.

ENDS

Regional breakdown of voluntary budget advice service funding increases

Region Total
$

Northland
37,100
North Auckland 29,700
Central Auckland 30,500
West Auckland 26,000
South Auckland 42,800
Waikato 24,700
Gisborne 24,700
Rotorua 24,700
Tauranga 30,900
Taranaki 2,000
Hawkes Bay 54,700
Wangnaui 10,400
Palmerston North 30,900
Wairarapa 4,000
Wellington 33,100
Nelson 9,000
Marlborough 3,000
Canterbury 79,900
West Coast 6,500
Dunedin 37,100
Southland 12,300

National organisations (3)

65,000
Grand Total $619,000

Letters offering new contracts to cover the extra funding are currently with budget advice services. Names of individual organisations receiving the additional funding won’t be available until these offers are formally accepted.

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