WelCom June/July 2022
Budget 2022 was published May 19. ‘Caritas Aotearoa welcomes the Budget 2022 $1 billion cost-of-living package that will assist low-income families who are increasingly faced with the effects of rising inflation. The extension of the half price public transport subsidy and the permanent subsidy for Community Service Card holders will also provide help to people who rely on public transport with the additional benefit of reducing carbon emissions,’ says Caritas Engagement Manager, Roger Ellis.
‘The additional funds for affordable housing will help more low-income people to gain access to housing but we are still a long way from having enough warm, dry homes to house all our people. The overdue investment of $11 billion into the public health system will increase capacity for the provision of health services at a time when the health sector is severely stretched and understaffed,’ said Roger Ellis.
‘We also support the greater provision through the $580 million package across Māori and Pacific health, social and justice sectors that we hope, if used effectively, will begin to address some of the entrenched inequities in our country.’
However, Caritas has some concerns about the growing trend towards centralisation of power away from communities towards central government agencies.
‘Decisions need to be made at the most appropriate level, informed by what is happening in communities. For example, the move to consolidate District Health Boards into a centralised health agency runs the risk of distancing decision-making away from local communities,’ Roger Ellis said.