CTU Report on Budget 2017

May 2017

New Zealand Council of Trade Unions released a report on budget 2017.

This is the report on some of the Budget highlights. You will see that funding increases are often stated as over four years and we also need to factor in demographic changes as well as an inflation adjustment before real increases can be assessed.

Key Points

  • Health is $305 million short of what is needed, including DHBs being $163 million short.
  • Mental health funding is over $40 million short of the increase required by the rapid increase in need.
  • Operations grants to most schools increase by less than inflation, with no money to pay support workers decent wages.
  • No money to reduce class sizes or teacher workloads.
  • Tertiary education funding fails to keep up with inflation.
  • Some students get up to $20 a week toward rent, but nothing else towards living costs.
  • $88.5 million per year for Early Childhood Education (ECE) only meets the demand from 31,000 more children attending ECE.
  • Upward moves in income tax thresholds, costing over $1.9 billion revenue per year.
  • 36 percent of the tax cuts go to the highest income 20 percent of families: as much as the lowest income 60 percent.
  • 91 percent of Working for Families goes to the lowest income 60 percent of families.
  • Less than half of the value stripped from Working for Families since 2010 has been restored.
  • Abatement rate increased from 22.5 percent to 25 percent, and threshold lowered to $35,000 from $36,500.
  • Changes to the Family Tax Credit mean children aged 0-15 get the same rate as for children aged 16-18 years.
  • 14 social investment tagged initiatives are a continuation of a highly targeted approach to people living in poverty and deprivation.
  • The Budget contains the funding for settlement of the historic Terranova equal pay case taken by Etū and later joined by NZNO and the PSA.
  •  Allocation of $2 million in 2017/18 towards Pay Equity dispute resolution and Holidays Act compliance rising to 2.9 million in subsequent years.
  • Other equal pay claims in health, education and welfare are identified as specific fiscal risks.
  • No new money for building houses.
  • $436 million to start work on the Auckland Central Rail Link. Some infrastructure announcements seem to be “ghost projects” with no funding allocated in the budget.
  • The final destruction of the Employment Relations Education Fund.
  • WorkSafe’s baseline funding has increased from $87.9 to $93.0 million (a $5.1 million increase) funded by levies.
  • There are no initiatives in the Pacific Peoples Vote.

To read more go to this link.

CTU Report on Budget 2017

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