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Budget widens the gap for Maori

21 May 2014
Budget widens the gap for Maori

“The Government continues to sit idle while Māori whanau and communities miss opportunity after opportunity, says Labour Māori Affairs Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.

“While the Māori Party promotes Budget 2014, the real test is whether the lives of children and whanau have improved since the Government took office in 2008.

“What we see is that Māori unemployment has grown from 8.6 per cent to 13.2 per cent since 2008. In Auckland that translates as 14% of Māori having no jobs and struggling to make ends meet.

“We are particularly concerned about the increasing rate of Māori youth unemployment which remains far too high and the fact that those most vulnerable and not in employment, education or training (NEET) remain stagnate at a level of 21.9% - this is far too high.

“Budget 2014 has not addressed the growing gap between the very rich and the very poor and it continues to ignore the very real challenge to lift those who are most vulnerable in our society to get ahead in life.

“Labour sees the need to deliver to our young people and Māori communities who have been at the coal-face of job cuts, welfare reforms and rising cost of living pressures. Budget 2014 needed to provide some hope and vision that it would deliver on the serious challenge of reducing inequality and poverty.

“We want to see more people in employment where a living wage in a productive economy sees more solutions in our towns and cities across the country. We have a target of 4% unemployment by the end of our second term and that will be delivered through a hands-on approach to growth, productivity and the fair distribution of our country’s wealth so that more people benefit.

“Part of that goal is to lift wages in the first 100 days of office as we work towards achieving a living wage where whanau will be able to look after the whanau and make sure that their tamariki get the best start and educational opportunities in life.”


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