19 May 2011
Budget does nothing for working families
Working families looking for relief from rapidly rising prices and other costs will be sorely disappointed with today’s Budget which will put even greater pressure on households already stretched to breaking point, the country’s largest private sector union says.
‘This Budget was a chance for this government to show it understands the very real pressure working people are under. They could have offered some help and hope in tough times,’ says EPMU national secretary Andrew Little.
‘What was most needed was investment in job creation and growth. The Government has missed the opportunity to do either. This Budget does nothing for working families.’
The widely expected cuts to Kiwisaver and Working for Families will place a further financial burden on middle- and lower-income earners.
‘Working families are already reeling from the impact of GST increases and rising food and fuel prices,’ says Little. ‘Workers are now being asked to pay for the Government’s tax cuts.’
Kiwisaver, Working for Families and interest-free student loans cost almost $5 billion a year. The Government’s package of tax cuts, mainly benefiting those on higher incomes, has given away approximately the same amount.
The Government has spent $14 billion on tax cuts when it couldn’t afford to,’ says Little. ‘The Government is basically filling a hole it created for itself.’
‘Cuts to public sector jobs and privatisation of publicly owned assets are more attempts to backfill a problem of its own making.’