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PSA Calls On Cullen To Deliver Budget

May 20, 2008

PSA Calls On Cullen To Deliver Budget About More Than Tax Cuts

As the country waits for Finance Minister Michael Cullen to deliver The Budget on Thursday (May 22) the PSA is calling on the Government to deliver a Budget that is about more than just tax cuts.

"New Zealanders have made it clear they want to maintain strong public services," says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott. "That's because strong public services benefit our society, our economy and our culture and we can't afford to see them weakened."

"This is why the PSA is calling on Dr Cullen to reject tax cuts that will require cuts in our public services,'' says Brenda Pilott. "The fact is large tax cuts come from one of two places-more borrowing, or large cuts to public services. New Zealand can afford neither."

Brenda Pilott says now more than ever we need to be strengthening our public service to help our people, our economy, and our environment.

She says when PriceWaterhouseCoopers points out the economic and social benefits of having strong public services, such as the Accident Compensation Corporation, we should listen.

In a report, published last month, it found that ACC performs "as well or better" than other accident compensation schemes around the world; that effective injury management by ACC is worth an estimated $315 million a year to the New Zealand economy; and that privatised accident compensation is more expensive because it needs to deliver a profit and cover marketing expenses.

"With costs such as petrol increasing, and mortgage rates high, the last thing New Zealanders need is the higher costs that privatisation brings," says Brenda Pilott.

One specific item the PSA is hoping to see in The Budget is assistance for the Department of Conservation to address an $8 million deficit that has led to a proposal to cut jobs. The shortfall was partly caused by drought conditions that meant DOC had to fight an unusually high number of fires.

"DOC provides an economic, social and cultural benefit to New Zealand," says Brenda Pilott. "On the West Coast alone the DOC estate generates over $220 million a year and provides more than 1800 jobs in the region."

"The important work DOC does is a prime example of why we need to maintain our strong public services," says Brenda Pilott.

"Our message to Dr Cullen is that The Budget must ensure that our public services have the resources and staff they need to meet the economic and social challenges that New Zealand is currently facing," says Brenda Pilott.


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