Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Budget 2011 – Cementing the Inequalities

Budget 2011 – Cementing the Inequalities

The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) social service agency members have identified that much of the misery and social disease they see every day in their communities is caused by the ever increasing inequalities in our society. The changes in the Working for Families regime will see lower income families getting some small increases in their weekly wage, but this will be more than negated by the additional costs imposed by Kiwi Saver and the increases in costs on food, petrol, accommodation and other basic necessities.

The changes made in this Budget tend to cement in these inequalities and build on last year’s tax cut rational of making the better-off better off and the worst-off no worse of. The kind of change that will make a real difference to our foodbank, budgeting, family counselling and social services clients is an increase in the minimum wage, benefit levels and access to income related rental accommodation. This will create hope and provide a pathway forward for the most vulnerable in our communities.

Increases for Dementia Treatment Welcomed The projected increases in the number of dementia sufferers in New Zealand have been highlighted in many studies including the NZCCSS report; Working together we can respond to dementia: Future Directions for Services. The two hundred new dementia beds provided for in this Budget are sorely needed and will provide for good level care for dementia sufferers and greater peace of mind for their family members.

Retention of Community Response Fund Praised A number of positive social service initiatives have come through in this Budget including the extension of the Community Response Fund. This fund is designed to assist organisations respond to the increasing demand placed on their communities as more people are impacted by unemployment and reduced incomes. The Community Response Fund has allowed social service providers to continue operating and meeting our clients’ needs in very difficult times. The extension of this Fund will allow social service organisations who are successful in their applications to continue to respond proactively to these ever increasing demands.

While the retention of the Community Response Fund for an additional year is very positive, there is no funding set aside for a Cost Price Index (CPI) increase. This represents a significant cut in real funding to community organisations at a time of very high demand. NZCCSS members actively called for a CPI increase in this Budget, the lack of this increase will result in some services being cut back as providers try to adjust their service costs to a zero increase in income.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Zimbabwe: New Democracy, Or A False Dawn?

Gordon Campbell: Robert Mugabe = Hosni Mubarak. The current jubilation on the streets of Harare at the fall of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is genuine, and one hates to be negative about the country’s future. Yet the situation is eerily similar to the scenes in Cairo in early 2011, when a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election