21 May 2015
Budget 2015: Working people miss out - union
Returning some of the income that was stolen from beneficiaries in National’s welfare cuts in 1991 is not an adequate way to address poverty or reduce inequality says FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid.
“The government’s decision to lift benefit levels for families receiving state support will mean nothing without stronger action on the housing crisis. Many families will see their extra support eaten up by rising rents”.
“Releasing public land for private development in Auckland may help cool the market. But without a corresponding commitment to more social housing and state housing the budget remains an empty one for struggling families”.
“Many working people are also struggling with astronomical housing costs. But even if the market cools, house prices are already too high. Workers need a pay rise to help catch up”.
“Last year Bill English was talking up average wage growth of 3.4 percent between 2014 and 2017. Yet this budget will do very little to meet that target or to reverse the inequality that the previous National government cemented with brutal benefit cuts and the Employment Contracts Act in 1991” says Reid.
For comment contact Robert Reid: 021 535 933