Jacinda Ardern  | 
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 – 16:52

“Just weeks after Paula Bennett claimed that Budget Advice services were winners from her Government’s budget, one of the busiest, Mangere Budgeting Services,  is to losing 5 of its 8 staff at the end of the month due to lack of funding.

“Ms Bennett knew that budget advice services were struggling and she has played a role in that. Her changes to Work and Income policy mean that most people can only receive emergency assistance if they first see a budget advisor. Some agencies say this has increased demand by up to 80%.

“The ‘extra’ funding is the equivalent of roughly $9,000 – clearly not enough to save services like Mangere which saw 2,000 clients in the past year, and had already suffered the blow of losing community response funding.

“With just 3 staff, there is no way they will be able to manage the already long delays in providing appointments. What does Paula Bennett expect Work and Income clients in need to do now?

“Ms Bennett created this demand. We warned her of this scenario time and time again.  She cannot stand back and allow such critical services to fall over.”