Public Service Association members will celebrate today’s Budget boosts for beneficiaries and low-paid workers, and the
announcement of new programmes to tackle the housing crisis.
The government has committed to raise weekly benefit rates between $32 and $55 per adult, by April 1 2022 reaching or
exceeding the recommendations of 2019’s Welfare Expert Advisory Group.
"PSA members choose careers in agencies like the Ministry of Social Development because they want to help people in
need. Shamefully low benefit levels caused unnecessary suffering for thirty years, so we’re thrilled the government has
today promised to end that dark legacy," says union National Secretary Erin Polaczuk.
"This Budget secures funding to maintain the current levels of public and community services on which New Zealanders
rely. Public servants can continue to work with confidence."
The government announced plans to work with the Council of Trade Unions and Business New Zealand to develop a Social
Unemployment Insurance scheme, which will for a period of time provide workers who lose their jobs with 80 percent of
their previous income.
Significant funding has been allocated to support pay equity, including over $35 million between now and 2022 for "the
additional costs of worker hours resulting from the Care and Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlement Act."
DHB admin and clerical workers will see $18.7 million allocated each year to fund the implementation of their pay equity
claim, between now and 2025.
However, health and other core sectors are under strain from a growing population with increasingly acute needs.
The Budget does not allocate enough funding to overcome decades of underinvestment in base services or keep up with
"We applaud the government’s commitment to uplifting the lowest paid public workers. Settling pay equity claims and
guaranteeing secure hours will deliver dignity to those long denied it," says Ms Polaczuk.
"From housing support to climate initiatives, PSA members will be excited to get stuck in and implement these government
programmes. Budget policies become possible when public servants make them happen, so we look forward to the government
appropriately recognising the value of this work."