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Budget 2023: E tū welcomes investment in our futures

Friday 19 May 2023, 5:36AM

By E tu

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New Zealand Budget 2023
New Zealand Budget 2023 Credit: infonews.co.nz

E tū welcomes the 2023 Budget, which includes significant improvements for Kiwi families, as well as welcome developments for people working in some E tū industries.

Highlights of the Budget include cheaper childcare, ongoing reduced public transport fares for children and young people, removing prescription costs, more money for new public housing, and a significant investment in repairing and improving infrastructure.

The Budget also includes updated forecasts by Treasury, with the welcome news that we are no longer expecting a recession.

E tū is particularly pleased to see initiatives for workers such as the extension of the Apprenticeship Boost Program, funding to settle the historic underpayment of holiday pay in DHBs, and money allocated for pay increases for primary and community care workers.

E tū Assistant National Secretary, Rachel Mackintosh, says that an early analysis of the Budget shows that the Government have got a lot right.

“We will be carefully analysing Budget 2023 over the coming days to best understand how our members and our communities are affected,” Rachel says.

“However, looking at the headline figures, it’s clear that the Government have taken the challenge of balancing the books against economic headwinds and have still managed to invest significant resources in improving lives for everyday people.”

Rachel says that E tū will be keen to see money allocated to wages in the health workforce go towards pay equity for community care workers.

“Our members in aged care and community support are overdue a pay rise that recognises the value of their important work.

“The Equal Pay Settlement in 2017 saw these workers’ pay go up significantly, but we have reached the end of those pay rises. With the cost-of-living pressures mounting and a growing demand on these services, our frontline care and support workers need much better wages.”

Rachel says the commitment to climate change mitigation is also welcomed, and that the Government must continue the Just Transition approach to ensure workers and their communities do not bear the full brunt of changes.

“Solving climate change is the essential challenge of our times, and our members in affected industries understand this – finding well paid and meaningful work for people in a climate-friendly future has to remain a priority.

“Overall, we applaud the Government for being able to continue investment in our communities while carefully managing macroeconomic settings. We are looking forward to seeing the policies that political parties take to the election in October.”