on The Jobs Budget 2000
from The Jobs Letter No.126 / 23 June 2000
" This Budget points the way to rebuilding a fair and sustainable social and economic order..."
" The Budget makes a significant investment in Maori and Pacific people's communities
and organisations in order to better determine their needs and build their capacity. The aim is
to establish a firm partnership to improve social and employment results for the future. This
approach recognises that Wellington does not have all the answers. Strong whanau, hapu, iwi
and Maori and Pacific peoples community organisations are often more effective because they
understand local needs..."
"It is one huge leap to the left for the government, and one huge leap backwards for New
" Dr Cullen has failed to deliver the king hit that New Zealanders needed to restore
flagging confidence in the future. And he has shown he doesn't understand what drives enterprise
and initiative. He doesn't know how to restore confidence, and without that, New Zealanders'
jobs, incomes and investments will suffer ... There is nothing in this Budget to restore confidence in
the Government's policy or meet the high expectations Labour has created for social change."
" This Budget is a huge step back to tax, spend and bust. Fire Michael Cullen. He will never
write a budget that will create jobs, growth, and attract kiwis home! Appoint Phil Goff."
"After 9 years of trumpeting that he was "going to reinvent the Welfare State", Mr Maharey
has won no new funding for his key portfolio areas. The Department of Work and Income base
lines have barely changed. While the Minister has proclaimed he would help more people into
jobs, there is no new funding in the budget for work schemes. Like the deck chairs on the Titanic,
the Minister has re-shuffled employment programmes, but there is no new money to help those
hundreds of thousands of people who are stuck on a benefit, to move off..."
" This is another Budget that has focussed on delivering social, cultural and other
outcomes without any apparent recognition that you first need sustained economic growth to pay
" Practical support for structured industry training, including Modern Apprenticeships, and for
the difficult area of school-to-work transition will be welcomed by employers. However, it is
clear that the costs of other policies such as re-unionising the workplace and re-nationalising ACC
have not been taken into account in this Budget."
" This is a government which recognises the intrinsic value of a strong arts, cultural and
heritage sector, and recognises the potential economically of a strong creative sector for employment
and for export earnings. A creative nation releases energy, right across the performing and visual
arts, to film, television, new media, the internet, design, technology, fashion, architecture you
name it. That sector will enable us to rebrand this country in the twenty-first century as a dynamic
and young country drawing from so many heritages and presenting to the world products,
services and technologies which are leading edge. That is where our future will lie."
" The pluses in the budget for unemployed workers and beneficiaries are the introduction
of income related rents for state tenants, the increase in the special benefit and other
pro-beneficiary changes to the Department of Work and Income, the creation of jobs though social, economic
and regional development policies and the increase in health and education spending.
" While the Budget does provide very welcome funding increases for building the capacity of
Maori and to a lesser extent, Pacific Island community sector groups, there appears in fact to
be nothing extra at all for capacity building in the voluntary arena at large.
" The best prospect for the poor, both brown and white, lies in work. Jim Anderton's scheme
to boost business in the depressed regions remains fuzzy and untested. But even Max Bradford,
it seems, realises that the market alone will not rescue Northland and the east Cape. So
Anderton's scheme is worth trying. It will need to be supplemented by community work schemes run
by Winz. What Steve Maharey plans in this area, following the axing of the Work for the
Dole scheme, also remains unclear. It will be vital in the fight against poverty..."
" Not since Ruth Richardson's Mother of All Budgets in 1991 has the government's annual
financial statement carried so much philosophical baggage. It read more like a Labour manifesto than
a financial statement and the first page of Dr Cullen's speech said as much."
" Dr Cullen and his colleagues have focussed largely on redistributing the economic cake
rather than increasing it. That is fine as far as it goes, but feel-good social policies alone will not
generate the income and jobs needed for New Zealand to keep pace with the world."