For immediate release
Wellington, Thursday 19 May 2011.
Budget offers few obvious benefits to low-income Kiwis
The Salvation Army doubts changes to Working For Families in today's budget will provide significant help to low-income and beneficiary families.
Salvation Army social policy spokesman Major Campbell Roberts accepts that changes to the entitlements of higher-income families was necessary and desirable, but says the savings of around $100 million annually would have been better used to improve the situations of those families on the lowest incomes.
“However, we are relieved the Government hasn’t taken the opportunity of the 2011 budget to prune social welfare,” Major Roberts says. “It shows that a centre-right Government can be fiscally prudent without gutting welfare.
“The Salvation Army, however, is fearful that the partial privatisation of some of our state energy companies could result in an increase in the rate of power price rises as the companies seek to expand generation, and this would have dire consequences for many of our clients,” he says.
The Salvation Army applauds the additional $45 million in the budget to increase the pool of affordable social housing over the next year and additional funding for early childhood education. It also sees the introduction of the Earthquake Bond as a pragmatic recovery funding vehicle, as well as a good investment for Kiwis.
Issued on the Authority of Social Policy and
Parliamentary Unit Director Major Campbell