CTU welcomes Wellbeing Budget as a good start

The Council of Trade Unions is welcoming theconcept of a Wellbeing Budget “We certainly believe that a budget whichfocuses on meaningful measures to ensure the lives of all New Zealanders arebetter, is a good idea,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

“The way the Budget has been prepared andpresented emphasises the need for better wellbeing outcomes for New Zealanders.In that sense it has succeeded in being a Wellbeing Budget and after years ofneglect we’ve seen the largest new spending in over a decade of $3.8 billion.But the needs of New Zealanders are significant and it will take even more thana single budget to ensuring wellbeing.”

“It is great to see a serious boost toprimary mental health services and the large capital injection to fixhospitals. The overall increases to Vote Health maintain current commitments inreal terms. However, the new spend isn’t spread evenly which will result inparts of the health sector remaining under pressure.”

“We welcome the funding for Future of Workand Just Transition development. The boost to apprenticeships and tradetraining is a crucial component in achieving a Just Transition and isespecially welcome.”

“Indexing of welfare benefits is acertainly a step in the right direction, but it is from the low base that theWelfare Expert Advisory Group showed was totally inadequate.”

“It is possible to imagine a brighter NewZealand; where we all get the healthcare we need when we need it, where we canget good jobs in industries which are beneficial to the planet, where everyonecan access world class education. We can turn these imaginings into realitythrough a properly funded wellbeing budget. By prioritising our resources wecan have the country of our dreams.”

“Future Wellbeing Budgets will be able tobuild on this Budget and create such a future. Today’s Budget takes the firststep towards a people focused future,” Wagstaff said, “the Governmentmust review its Budget Responsibility Rules to ensure the funding is availableto realise the full potential of a wellbeing budget.”

/Public Release. View in full here.