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Budget offers clear choice for workers

MEDIA RELEASE

23 May 2002

Budget offers clear choice for workers

“Workers have a clear choice: an investment for all New Zealanders or tax cuts for the rich,” said Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson today.

“The 2002 Budget shows that choice is one between a Government which invests in economic development, hospitals, roading, education and health or an opposition that wants to cut taxes for the highest paid.”

Ross Wilson said the CTU supported many Budget announcements including:

- More modern Apprenticeships
- Greater spending on health
- More state housing and upgrading of existing stock
- Energy efficiency spending
- And adult literacy

“These build on commitments already made by this Government like paid parental leave, increased superannuation payments and increases to the minimum wage.”

The CTU welcomed the commitment to integrated funding in tertiary education.

“This will lift investment in industry training but we need to ensure that there are high quality standards,” said Ross Wilson.

“While we would like to see a greater part of the large surplus spent on more pay, more people and more technologies in areas like health and education, we also acknowledge the need for the balanced approach which means more investment in infrastructure and managing debt,” he said.

Ross Wilson said unions remain concerned about those people who are in real poverty.

“Although a good start has been made, future budgets will need to do more for these people,” he said.

ENDS

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