PSA welcomes Wellbeing Budget but more still to do

PSA members working in public and community services welcome this budget's commitment to well-being, which puts the needs of people back at the forefront of public and community services.

Our members want to contribute to transformation that will improve the lives of all New Zealanders. 

An overall increase in operating allowance shows a commitment to funding that approach. 

The PSA also welcomes major investment in mental health, and improving the lives of children and families, including the indexing of benefits to wage increases. 

However, we would have liked to have seen a firm commitment to raising benefit levels, and to large-scale investment in low cost housing.

"The impact of the housing crisis has been felt across our membership, with over two-thirds living in unaffordable housing. We maintain our call for bold action to address the housing crisis," say PSA national secretaries Glenn Barclay and Kerry Davies.'

While we also welcome the provision of funding for equal pay settlements for care and support workers, mental health and addiction workers, and Oranga Tamariki social workers, we are disappointed there is no indication money has been set aside to fund the equal pay claim for DHB admin and clerical workers.

"We also see acknowledgements of the costs of closing the gender pay gap, minimum wage increases, and boosting funding for contracted providers in the social sector, but there appears to be little provision to fund these costs." 

"The government's goal of improving well-being is to be applauded, but it must adequately fund agencies so they have the capacity to bring it to fruition." 

Funding to improve water quality, sustainable land use, and investment in rail are all welcome initiatives that will help us transition towards a more sustainable economy.