This from Bryan Bruce:
The day after the budget is announced there is always a blizzard of big dollar numbers that often blind us to the underlining moral decisions that went into producing it.
(Because make no mistake in the end all economic decisions are moral decisions.)
So what moral decisions did our government make this particular budget?
Well, here’s a few.
1. The poor are undeserving
It’s really their own fault that they are poor. So let’s progressively give less money to them through Working for Families,let’s deny our poorest families the in-work tax credit of $72.50 a week and let’s not increase the maximum rates of accommodation subsidies.
You can read more about this in an analysis by Associate Minister of Economics Susan St John here.
2. You don’t have to keep your word
Commissioner for Children Russell Wills reminds us in the article below that in 1993, New Zealand ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child one of which is the right to an adequate standard of living, including a home.
Yet “50 per cent of Pasifika children and 25 per cent of Maori children live in crowded homes. Forty per cent of families on low incomes spend more than 30 per cent of their weekly income on rent. In South Auckland, rents have increased 25 per cent since 2010, so typical rents for a three-bedroom house are about $400 a week.. and …..The Salvation Army estimates around 10 per cent of garages in South Auckland are being used as a residence.”
You can read more of what Dr Wills has to say here.
3. State Child Abuse is OK
The government knows that around 42,000 children a year end up in hospital with chest infections and respiratory illnesses caused by bad housing and that it’s estimated 15 kids a year die as a result .(See article by Dr Wills)
The answer to this on going tragedy is to provide warm dry affordable homes.
Do I see a determined effort to do that in this budget? I do not.
4. Rich people are more important than poor people
The top 10% of New Zealanders now own over 52% of the Nation’s wealth. We are no longer a fair society yet we know that countries where the gap between the rich and the poor is narrower than our do better in all sorts of areas from lower crimes rates to better education outcomes.
Did this budget do anything to redistribute the nation’s wealth more fairly by making the rich pay their fair share of taxes ? No it did not.
5. It’s OK to say one thing and do another
At the beginning of his third term in government Prime Minister John Key said he would make addressing Child Poverty issues a priority .
Well I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen much of an effort being made to address the Child Poverty issues he says he now knows exist in our country.
Truth to tell – this is yet another budget that won’t help poor families break out of the cycle of poverty.
by Bryan Bruce (Source)
NOTE: Bryan Bruce will be on the panel at Waatea 5th Estate at 7pm, 27th May 2016 on Face TV (Sky Channel 083) along with Andrew Little , Helen Kelly and Oscar Knightly talking about events this week. You can watch the live stream here http://www.waateanews.com/Waatea+TV.html
Bryan’s Facebook page is here.