Budget 2023 is a win for children, families, women, and disabled workers, say the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions.
NZCTU National Secretary Melissa Ansell-Bridges said the Budget was a step forward for New Zealand.
“This is a budget that will significantly increase equality in the world of work.”
The major investment in cheaper childcare with the extension of 20 hours free to 2-year-olds will enable more parents, and particularly women, to be able to engage in the workforce.
Ansell-Bridges said childcare is a bread and butter issue.
“The cost of childcare is prohibitive for many New Zealand families. What often happens is families find that there is no or minimal benefit in both parents being at work because of the cost of childcare. This means a parent, and most often a mother, stays at home. This situation is not a choice, but a financial necessity.”
“We welcome this significant investment which will enable more women to return to the workforce should they choose.”
The NZCTU is also pleased to see KiwiSaver contributions will be made for on Paid Parental Leave payments.
“The contributions will have a significant impact on women’s retirement savings, an area where we know there is significant inequality.”
The removal of the discriminatory minimum wage exemption for disabled workers is another triumph for equality in the world of work.
“This Budget has demonstrated the Government’s ability to care for some of our most marginalised communities by giving them the resources they need to thrive.”