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

Gordon Campbell: On Compensating Afghan Civilian Casualties

Reportedly, there have been nine incidents resulting in 17 civilian deaths and injuries (seven of the dead were children) caused by ordnance left behind on what used to be the firing range of our Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamiyan province.

Given that the NZ Defence Force has needed to be hauled kicking and screaming into belatedly arranging an adequate clean-up of its old firing range… what would it take before New Zealand offers to pay compensation to the families of those who suffered death and injury from what was left behind on our watch? More>>


Children's Day: Commissioner Calls For Govt Commitment

“Three decades on, we are able to celebrate some significant changes for children like the recent launch of a Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. But we still have a long way to go to prioritise children’s rights.” More>>


Elections: Proposed Electorate Boundaries Released

The Representation Commission is proposing changes to half of New Zealand’s electorates and establishing a new electorate in south Auckland… More>>


"Effectively A Permanent Amnesty": Final Month For Gun Ban Compensation

The firearms buy-back comes to an end a month from today, but the police say the amnesty for returning banned guns will continue into next year and beyond. More>>




Overseas Investment Rules: New National Interest Test

The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers... More>>


Matter Of Trust: Peters Says NZ First Loans Legal

"Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years." More>>



Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Age Problem, And The Port Hills

Labour has been steadily improving its gender balance to the point where there are now 21 women in its caucus out of 46 MPs in all... Yet Labour has been just as steadily losing the generational battle to the Greens. More>>


Charles & Camilla: Visit Takes Royals From Waitangi To Christchurch

Domestic violence services, conservation and education are all on the list for the royal tour. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will spend a week travelling the country from Waitangi to Christchurch. More>>





InfoPages News Channels