E tū welcomes Budget 2022, which includes a range of measures that will help E tū members and their communities during a time of increased hardship coming out of the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
E tū Assistant National Secretary Annie Newman says this Budget both addresses the immediate challenges facing many in Aotearoa and lays the groundwork for improving our country’s longer-term prospects.
“The headline news of $1 billion in payments for low- and middle-income earners comes at exactly the right time,” Annie says.
Annie says global pressures that have spiked inflation have seen many people and families finding it harder and harder to keep up with the daily cost of living.
“People will also find immediate relief in the two-month extension of half-price public transport fares and the fuel tax reduction. It means more money in people’s pockets.”
Health funding has always been a concern for E tū members, particularly frontline workers in areas like aged care and DHBs, she says.
“While the record boost for health is needed to establish the new health structure, E tū is disappointed to see the care and support workforce left out.
“Addressing wages in care and support would make the biggest impact on cost of living for these workers and their whānau.”
Annie says E tū is heartened to see more than $15 million of specific funding set aside to operationalise Fair Pay Agreements.
“We’re also looking forward to seeing more detail about the New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme, which will be a lifesaver for any workers who are made redundant or are unable to work due to long-term illness.
“We have long called for publicly funded dental care as critical to the health and wellbeing of our communities, and so we are delighted to see a significant increase in funding for dental care, which will make a real difference to the lives of low-paid workers.”
Annie says that many E tū members identify the costs of housing as being the most significant issue affecting their household finances.
“Support for both first home buyers and public housing is great to see,” she says.
Annie says there will be a lot more to unpack over the coming days and weeks.
“We’re looking forward to diving into the details and discussing with our members what Budget 2022 will mean for them.”
Annie Newman, 027 204 6340