Finance Minister’s Commitment To WEAG Recommendations Welcome

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Welfare advocate and former Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG) member Kay Brereton says she is pleased to hear Finance Minister Grant Robertson describe the WEAG report as the “blueprint” for their welfare policy.

“The comments made by Grant on breakfast TV this morning will give great reassurance to the hundreds of thousands of Kiwi families who are living below the poverty line.

“The most important part of that blueprint is the recommendation to raise benefits

“Research in the last year has shown that even with the small increase in benefits from last budget the real levels of core benefits are still lower than they were immediately after Ruth Richardson slashed benefits. [1]

“That’s why we still have so many children in poverty and so many people unable to escape the poverty trap.

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“A recent NZIER report shows that increasing benefits creates much better economic stimulus than tax cuts. [2]

“It puts money directly into our communities and small businesses, it improves microeconomic outcomes by giving people the space to take training opportunities, and it reduces barriers to health and education.

“This is the right thing to do for our people and for the economy, and I congratulate Grant Robertson on having the political will to take this opportunity to make so many people’s lives so much better.

“Grant, the whole sector is behind you making this happen.”

[1] https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/118778437/benefits-now-worth-less-than-after-they-were-cut-by-mother-of-all-budgets-in-1991-salvation-army-says

[2] https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HRlH1_NHj6dfVhURyNEUlB4J2PiAdLkZ/view

The Minister’s comments were made in this interview: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/grant-roberson-says-he-ll-continue-wellbeing-approach-if-s-finance-minister

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