Sue Brad­ford

The New Zealand Herald - - News - ● Sue Brad­ford is a poverty ac­tivist and a for­mer Green MP.

In his Bud­get speech, Grant Robert­son said: “Bud­get 2018 lays the foun­da­tions for New Zealan­ders in the decades to come.”

I won­der which New Zealan­ders he’s talk­ing about, and to whom he is be­ing so care­fully re­spon­si­ble in his de­ter­mi­na­tion to outdo Bill English’s fis­cal con­ser­vatism.

There is noth­ing in this Bud­get on wel­fare, not even the ful­fil­ment of Labour’s pre-elec­tion pledge to re­move the s70a sanc­tion which means around 12,000 ben­e­fi­ciary fam­i­lies get even less money each week be­cause a child’s fa­ther has not been named.

It is good that the Gov­ern­ment plans to build 1600 more state houses a year for the next four years. How­ever, this does not com­pute when the lat­est state hous­ing wait­ing list stands at 7890 — and that’s just the tip of the ice­berg in terms of the real home­less num­bers.

It’s good to see spend­ing in­creases in some as­pects of health and ed­u­ca­tion and other crit­i­cal ar­eas. Yet to pri­ori­tise $100 mil­lion for the Amer­ica’s Cup while des­per­ate hous­ing and wel­fare needs are so mas­sively un­met flies in the face of any Bud­get I’d call re­spon­si­ble.

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