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Wellbeing changes all talk


Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s claims that he’s making fundamental changes to the Budget appears to be all smoke and mirrors, National’s Finance spokeswoman Amy Adams says.

“Mr Robertson said today that his wellbeing approach ‘is about stepping out of the silos of agencies and working together to assess, develop and implement initiatives to improve wellbeing.’

“He went on to say that ‘a wellbeing approach means looking at intergenerational outcomes. We have to think about the long-term impacts on future generations at the same time as meeting the needs of the present.’

“This is the very definition of National’s Social Investment Approach. National’s 2017 Budget saw the most rigorous investment criteria ever used to ensure funding went to evidence-based proposals that delivered long-run benefits for vulnerable people.

“Mr Robertson is pretending that this is the first time cross agency funding and assessment has occurred, and that it’s the first time a Government has considered how investments would change lives. This is literally what Budgets do.

“We knew the silo approach to delivering outcomes for New Zealanders was flawed, which is why we used the Better Public Service targets to drive change across Government. We required departments and agencies to work together to change the lives of some of the most vulnerable.

“The Government has talked up how transformational this Budget will be, in reality, they’ve dropped our rigorous investment criteria and adopted the Treasury’s Living Standards Framework which values having contact with your neighbour over avoiding diabetes.

“Mr Robertson has talked up this Budget, not only in New Zealand but around the world and it’s fast becoming clear that once again, this Government is all talk and no delivery.”

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