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Government out of touch with New Zealand families

CTU Media Release
19 May 2011

Government out of touch with New Zealand families

Today’s Budget should have been about jobs and the future. Instead it was about cuts to family incomes, privatisation and cutting government services.

Helen Kelly, President of the CTU said “We need to look to the future with a Budget that focuses on creating good jobs to slash our high unemployment rate. We needed a Budget that supports people who have lost their jobs. We needed a Budget that invests in developing skills and education levels and funding for projects that build necessary public facilities. Instead it has cut KiwiSaver and Working for Families for families. There are no initiatives at all in the budget to stimulate the economy, and in fact there is a real risk of continuing high unemployment and a return to recession.”

“Cutting the KiwiSaver member tax credit in half is not the answer to our problems with saving. Increasing the minimum rates to 3% for both employers and employees will make it unaffordable for people on low income.”

Working for Families changes will impact on households with incomes as low as $35,000.

“Today’s Budget confirms the government has no idea what families are facing to balance their budgets. To cut support for them and increase costs such as to KiwiSaver shows just how out of touch they are. Working for families is a crucial addition to many family incomes. Families earning $35,000 are not faced with choosing between what’s nice to and what they need to have. They are choosing between which of the necessities will be paid for this week.” Said Kelly.

“The Budget today continues the myth that this government will make no cuts to ‘front line services’. But by delivering the departments the budget cuts that we saw today, the departments will have no choice but to make cuts to many of public services families benefit from.” Said Kelly.

ENDS

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