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Government doing a good job, but - Closing the Gap

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

It is clear that most people think that the Government, health officials and workers, are doing an excellent job of dealing with the Covid 19 virus and they have been well supported by most of the public doing what they are told. And the Government has listened to the public and the Opposition and made changes to the "rules" where sensible. "This is a marvellous situation for our country in these perilous times, and we have been recognised internationally for this" says Peter Malcolm spokesperson for Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc-"Closing the Gap". The Government has also largely been complimented for its efforts to protect the economy and people in general from the effects of the virus and this was continued in the budget.

A realistic attitude about Government debt-despite all the additional spending our Government debt is still well below that of many developed countries and should not be a worry to us in the future-a $50 billion rescue fund, extensions to the wage subsidy scheme, significant increases in the health budget including Pharmac, a large increase in the building of "social housing"-not before time-money for rail and "green" jobs. increases in aid funding for our pacific neighbours, this augurs well for our future. And now additional money for sport. Well done to the Government.

But we still have around 200,000 kids and families in poverty---an extra $25 a week is a pittance--- and now there is additional money for meals in schools. This last is an ambulance at the bottom of the clift and will do nothing to solve the underlying problem of families in poverty. There was nothing in the budget about welfare or benefits, despite general agreement about the recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group. This report seems to have been consigned to the rubbish bin and it was published well before this current crisis.

Government, at a time when we are encouraged to be safe and kind, where is the kindness and compassion you have shown elsewhere. It is clear that much of the burden of this crisis is being shouldered by our most disadvantaged and this should not be in our country which has been recognised by many to be doing so well in this perilous time.

Apparently there is $20 billion of extra money in the budget which is unallocated. The WEAG report tells you how the money should be spent. It is there to do the right thing. Government please show some real kindness and help our most disadvantaged.

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