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Budget 2008 : Fair to beneficiaries?

Media Release - 22 May 2008
NZ Council of Christian Social Services

Budget 2008 : Fair to beneficiaries?

Budget 2008 has struck a balance in striving for a “Fair Economy” through its significant tax cuts, maintenance of social spending and initiatives to strengthen well-being in the community, says Trevor McGlinchey, Executive Officer of the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS).

“We welcome the support for low and middle income earners and acknowledge that this Budget will make a difference to many New Zealanders of all ages. However we are concerned - particularly in this time of rising unemployment - that the lowest income earners, people on benefits, and their children will benefit the least.

“The acknowledgement of children in poverty and the numbers of children lifted out of poverty is important and the positive steps taken since 2000 are commendable. However we note that this Budget again focuses on economic transformation, and confines itself to addressing the needs of workers.

“The speech delivered by Minister of Finance, the Hon Dr Michael Cullen, stated that Budget 2008 is about continuing to build a fair society and a strong economy. We will be looking in more detail at the Budget for signs of measures targeted to the poorest and most vulnerable in our communities, for whom there is nothing new about the pressures of the cost of living,” says Trevor McGlinchey.

“As with all Budget announcements our concern is to gauge whether there are blindspots in the fine print of the Budget, and to represent the voice of poor and vulnerable New Zealanders.

“In line with the theme we have adopted this year, Let Us Look After Each Other – Aroha tētahi ki tētahi, NZCCSS will continue our call for more action to ensure that poor and vulnerable New Zealanders get a fair deal and that they benefit from social inclusion, not social isolation. They are our future too”.


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