On Friday the 27th of May, we delivered the following post budget memo to MP’s David Bennett and Tim MacIndoe . We are awaiting a response.
RESPONSE TO BUDGET 2016
Date: 27 May 2016
To: David Bennett and Tim MacIndoe
From: Poverty Action Waikato
This budget represents a poverty of imagination and yet again the poor and working poor are the losers. The needs of people living on the breadline are immediate yet there is no direct funding from the budget that will meet any of these needs.
We note the complete absence of funding targeted at increasing the State owned housing stock. We call for the dividends paid to Government from Housing NZ to be directed to an immediate recapitalisation for increasing the housing stock, rather than going into the consolidated fund. Recent evidence reported on RNZ (18 May, 2016) indicated that the State owned stock currently falls 20,000 houses short of per capita provision in 1991. The overall housing stock is well short of the need for housing, particularly for people living on low incomes.
We note the increased taxation on tobacco while many of the other harmful substances which carry high social and health costs, such as alcohol and sugar, have not been targeted for increased taxes.
We applaud the investment in Te Reo Maori to strengthen the use of this official language.
It is extraordinary to see that the Government is investing more than 3 times the amount allocated to supporting pressing areas of social deprivation in new military spending. This spending reflects the ideological direction this Government is taking.
We the undersigned, call on the Government to reject the current pathway to destruction of our common good communities and society that is underpinned by neo-liberal economic policies.