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GST Increase Hits Hardest For Those On Low Incomes

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
GST Increase Hits Hardest For Those On Low Incomes

"The Government's Budget decision to increase GST to 15% is a blow to struggling families," says Jim Pearce, Chairman of the Presbyterian Support New Zealand federation today.

"The Government says this Budget is fair for everyone with income tax cuts and compensation for the GST rise for beneficiaries. In reality though, those on low incomes have no choice about spending on the essentials like food which will attract higher costs. They are struggling now and will still be struggling. It is certainly not a move towards increased fairness for them." Social services will benefit from new approach

The announcement of a $90 million fund for a community response model approach is a sign that the Government has listened to advice from social service providers.

"Presbyterian Support shares the Government's confidence in the community response model and the advantages of local decision making about effective social service delivery," says Chris Graham, a federation Chief Executive. "Our Family Works service supports families to function well and works collaboratively and responsively across the country. Being able to plan better integrated services locally through the community response model will be challenging and exciting.

"We are also pleased the Government is committed to a CPI adjustment," Mr Graham says. "However we will continue to advocate for fuller funding for existing services." Health funding increase not enough to prevent further cuts

"An increase of $330 million in health spending will not be enough to keep pace with the demand for health services," says Gillian Bremner, Chief Executive of Presbyterian Support Otago.

"Even with a $512 million increase in health funding last year, we have already seen cuts to home based support funding for aged care by DHBs. The trend is likely to continue, which will push more elderly people into needing residential care sooner and put further cost pressures on rest home care."

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