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Bureaucracies may undermine Budget intent

New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services
For immediate release: 18 May 2007


Bureaucracies may undermine Budget intent

The aims expressed in the Budget for working with families and communities affected by poverty, social exclusion and family violence are good ideals. Properly implemented these initiatives will assist in developing a more just and compassionate society, says the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS).

“However, it is the experience of NGOs that the bureaucratic processes of some government agencies often result in the actual implementation of Budget aims being short-changed”, says NZCCSS President Ross Kendrew.

“The NGO sector knows from experience what works in communities and government departments must work closely with NGOs to ensure Budget aims are achieved”, says Kendrew

Children and Families
“The Pathways to Partnership funding is a good beginning to develop an improved environment for NGOs to work with families and communities. However, the announcement is short on detail and we await further information in July. A clear government framework for support for children and families has not yet been articulated” said Mr Shaun Robinson spokesperson on Children and Families.

We are pleased to see more focus on working with young offenders, in creating more inclusion in communities for people with disability and the housing initiatives.

It is of concern that there is no new allocation of funding to support the referral of CYFs notifications to NGOs under the Differential Responses Policy. “Without this resource, we are not optimistic of a successful roll-out of this new way of working,” says Robinson

Positive Aging
The additional funding for home-based support and aged residential care for older people is a welcome first step towards genuine investment in a future of quality aged care services says, NZCCSS spokesperson on services for older people, Gillian Bremner

“This additional funding of around $20.3 million (14%) per year for home base support and $37.5 million (6.5%) per year for aged residential care represents an increase for this year only. No pathway of future investment has been announced to address the fundamental inadequacies in funding for services despite the pre-budget announcement that the increase was over 4 years. This falsely represents the fact that the increase this year is a one-off with funding for subsequent years based only on inflation and projected growth in volume”.

“Just as the Ribena ad misled the public so too has this announcement misled unions and workers and the general public”.

“Our membership of Church-based providers have always sought to reward their workers well and have sought to pass on funding increase into wages”, says Gillian Bremner, “and we expect that this will also be the case with these increases. Not only are care givers in need of better pay, but also the frontline staff coordinators and the professional nursing and therapist staff who work with them in providing care services.”

Kiwi Saver and Charities
“NZCCSS is concerned about the issue and costs to charities imposed by Kiwi Saver. While for-profit employers will receive tax rebates to reimburse their costs charities, who pay no tax, cannot be compensated in this way. We will be actively encouraging government to take an even-handed approach to all employers as Kiwi saver is implemented” said Mr Trevor McGlinchey, Executive Officer.


ENDS

The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) represents six denominations: the Anglican Care Network, the Baptist, Catholic, and Presbyterian social services agencies, as well as the Methodist and the Salvation Army churches. Collectively, these six members are responsible for around 500 social service delivery sites in their networks throughout New Zealand.

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