~~There is nothing in this year’s Budget to address some of the basic challenges which are holding back the development and prosperity of Pacific communities in New Zealand, Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.
“National has done nothing to help Pacific people earn higher wages, do better at school or own their own homes.
“Unemployment for Pacific people remains at a staggering 13 per cent. The median wage for Pacific people has fallen from $455 per week when National took office to $381 at the end of last year. And while there have been some improvements in NCEA achievements and participation rates, two out of every three Pacific students fail to gain university entrance.
“Although the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs has been given an extra $900,000, almost half of that is for capital expenditure and will be swallowed up by redundancy payments in the restructuring which is underway.
“The Budget offered nothing to help families buy their own homes. The Kiwi dream of home ownership is slipping ever further from the reach of Pacific people.
“Labour will help Pacific people realise their aspirations of academic success, more valued jobs and higher incomes.
“Pacific people will be better off under a Labour government which will raise the minimum wage, help families with our Best Start package, provide cheaper power prices and keep house prices down by clamping down on foreign speculators and taxing capital gains,” Su’a William Sio says.