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Vital Community Services Under Threat?

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Annette King
Annette King

13 FEB 2009 - Minister of Finance Bill English's failure to guarantee future funding for community organisations means vital community groups could face funding cuts, Labour social development spokesperson Annette King said today.

The Labour Party had committed, while in Government, to the Pathway to Partnership which would move essential social services delivered by over 850 community organisations to full funding by 2012. It aims to give community organisations more certainty, and more ability to plan ahead and to attract and retain qualified staff.

"But yesterday we learned that essential community services could potentially lose funding because of a National Government that does not recognise the value of NGOs.

Ms King yesterday asked in Parliament 'how can this Government, which campaigned on public-private partnerships, be believed if the first casualty of its razor gang will be the non-governmental organisation sector, a sector that already provides services to New Zealanders in a partnership arrangement at bargain-basement cost to taxpayers, yet will be squeezed first, even though the Government can find money to give to business?

Bill English who was answering on behalf of Paula Bennett, and who initially tried to avoid answering the question finally stated 'the Government has sent a clear signal that taxpayers' money should be spent effectively and that spending will be restrained over coming years.

Ms King said in times of economic hardships NGOs should be able to get on with helping ordinary New Zealanders but instead they could be too busy fund raising to help all those who need it.

"It is an appalling state of affairs where the wealthy get tax cuts and essential community groups face potential funding cuts.

Ms King today challenged the Government to clarify whether it was committed to fully funding NGOs or not.

"Mr English's blundering and blathering in the House will have left many NGO's wondering what this Government has planned for them and many New Zealanders who rely on their services worried for the future.

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