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Budget serves another kick to New Zealanders’ publ

Budget serves another kick to New Zealanders’ public services

The Public Service Association (PSA) believes the overwhelming effect of this year’s budget will be the continued erosion of the country’s public services.

“Most public services haven’t received any new funding which in real terms means their budgets have been cut. Health is one of the few areas to receive new money and it’s encouraging to see disability support services get a much-needed boost. However, the increased $350 million a year for DHBs falls $100 million short of what the CTU calculates they need”, says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott.

“While we welcome more money going into Research, Science and Technology, the focus is on business driven research. Science with a commercial application is important but so is public science that carries out vital forensic work, health and water monitoring.

“Finance Minister Bill English says he wants a more efficient public sector that will deliver better-quality services. We want this too and so does the public, but simply talking about it while continuing to cut services won’t bring it about.

“What’s the government’s vision to achieve this? Surely not more of what we’ve seen, like home help for the elderly being cut, language classes for refugees and migrants being cut, and ACC claims being rejected. That’s not efficient; that’s low quality short-term thinking”, says Brenda Pilott.

“The budget shows a drive towards privatisation and the contracting out of public services.
Past experience shows this can be a way of providing services on the cheap through a low paid, inadequately trained work force, while the government divests itself of responsibility,” says Brenda Pilott.


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