Budget unleashes laments from groups that were overlooked or short-changed (including hopes of Human Rights empire-building)

And how did the people react to the boost in spending announced in this year’s Budget to promote our wellbeing?

In some cases by pleading for more; in other cases, by grouching they got nothing.

But Budget spending is never enough.

Two lots of bleating came from the Human Rights Commission, which somewhat draws attention to the potential for a $15 million a year saving by abolishing the agency – a budget-trimming measure advocated by the ACT Party.

One statement – in the name of Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero – said Budget 2022 has pluses and minuses for the disabled community.

On the plus side,there was considerable investment in the new Ministry for Disabled People and other funding which has the potential to benefit the disabled community.  And there was some funding for community-based services which support the disabled community. Continue reading “Budget unleashes laments from groups that were overlooked or short-changed (including hopes of Human Rights empire-building)”

Govt data tells us the size of bigger Crown debt but Sepuloni is silent about how welfare spending might further lift it

A familiar refrain was warbled among the latest posts on The Beehive website this morning.  It was posted in the name of Finance Minister Grant Robertson, who said the resilience of the economy continues to be reflected in the Government’s financial accounts and puts the country in a strong position to respond to the ongoing pandemic.

But at Point of Order, we have become conditioned to expect Robertson will chirrup about the economy’s resilience each time the financial statements are published, which is regularly.

We were looking out for news of big or dubious spending by a government which (according to the Crown accounts) has lifted the net core Crown debt to 36.8 per cent of GDP.

We are unable to tell if we found such news in a social welfare spending announcement under the heading Government Provides Stability for Whānau Self Isolating. 

The statement said the Government is providing additional support for people and families who must self-isolate, helping them to access the services they need as Omicron cases start to ramp up and more New Zealanders are affected by the virus. Continue reading “Govt data tells us the size of bigger Crown debt but Sepuloni is silent about how welfare spending might further lift it”

Cheering news for Aucklanders (as they brace for govt’s latest Covid response) – art therapy might lift sagging self-esteem

We learned of the government’s latest dip into the $374 million Covid trough from the Taxpayers’ Union, before we had read the official announcement from Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni.

The union was scornfully disapproving.

Spokesman Louis Houlbrooke railed against the Government’s appropriation of COVID-19 response funds for ‘creative spaces’ as evidence of how bizarre its ‘Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme’ has become.

Creative NZ had begun chewing into the $374 million by giving grants to art projects that could be progressed during lockdown, Houlbrooke recalled.

Many of the projects were of dubious value, but at least there was a clear link to the pandemic.

Now Creative NZ has announced more millions are being spent

“… for ‘creative spaces’ so wannabe artists can ‘build up their confidence and self-esteem’ and gain ‘a sense of fulfilment’.   

“Sorry to say it, but art therapy is not an established cure for COVID-19. Nor does art therapy work as an economic response to the pandemic when there are more vital projects in health and infrastructure.” Continue reading “Cheering news for Aucklanders (as they brace for govt’s latest Covid response) – art therapy might lift sagging self-esteem”

Not all the millions offered by the Ardern govt have been accepted – let’s see how it fares with new law on aversion therapy

Several million dollars have been dished out for projects to build schools, control wilding pine control and what-have-you.

Nurses – on the other hand – have turned down the money they were offered.

In their case,  Health Minister Andrew Little is obviously bemused and frustrated.  

He was advised last night that Nurses Organisation members had voted to reject the latest proposal to settle their collective agreement.

“Let me be clear: the proposal was one they put to the Government. The Nurses Organisation rejected their own proposal,” he huffed this morning. 

We don’t expect the rejection of these announcements: Continue reading “Not all the millions offered by the Ardern govt have been accepted – let’s see how it fares with new law on aversion therapy”