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CTU welcomes Wellbeing Budget as a good start

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

“The way the Budget has been prepared and presented emphasises the need for better wellbeing outcomes for New Zealanders. In that sense it has succeeded in being a Wellbeing Budget and after years of neglect 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 than a single budget to ensuring wellbeing.”

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

“We welcome the funding for Future of Work and Just Transition development. The boost to apprenticeships and trade training is a crucial component in achieving a Just Transition and is especially welcome.”

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

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

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