Labour and Greens new Budget Responsibility Rules for fiscal management demonstrates a lack of commitment to the low paid and unemployed. Their commitment is to change nothing.
“When political parties talk about fiscal management and debt reduction, what they are really saying is that austerity measures will be put in place to cut funding from essential social resources,” says Vanessa Cole, spokesperson for Auckland Action Against Poverty.
“The National government boasts about moving into a surplus and creating a rockstar economy, yet beneficiaries, unemployed and low-waged workers do not see the benefits of this.
“There has been a decline in real wages, and an increase in rent and the cost of living. There has also been major cuts to social welfare.
“Government surpluses and strong economies do not mean the wealth trickles down to the poor.
“Labour and Greens are are claiming that stronger fiscal management will not result in underfunding public services.
“The opposition lack, however, strong statements on their responsibility to provide an adequate safety net for low-income people.
“AAAP are seeing over 70 people at Clendon Work and Income every Friday in need of emergency grants such as food. These people do not see the material benefits of a strong economy.
“We are facing major crises in housing and income which are placing people/whānau in major debt.
“Good and responsible economic planning should involve the redistribution of wealth, not the transfer of debt from Government to low-income people/whānau.
“Political parties want to talk about how they will strengthen the economy to get votes, yet lack strategy on how to confront unemployment, jobs and welfare.
“In a time where we face high levels of homelessness and poverty, we need more spending.”