Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand welcomed the Budget’s overall direction as being a foundation of hope, but called for innovative investment to help everyone create a fairer society.
A “reset” following on from the Covid-19 crisis is an opportunity to heal the afflictions of poverty, intergenerational unemployment, homelessness and environmental degradation.
Budget moves to create jobs were praised by Caritas, as were environmental initiatives.
Strengthening the Māori economy, putting resources back into the hands of iwi to encourage employment for their people, and ensuring that existing inequalities are overcome must be a high priority, Caritas noted.
It also called for a low-carbon economy and added that investment decisions to generate jobs should reflect that. For those carbon-intensive industries which need to make substantial changes, there should be a fair transition involving education, upskilling and retraining of staff, as well as support for new flexible ways of working which may involve working more often from home.
Caritas also welcomed New Zealand’s continuing commitment to overseas aid, especially to Pacific nations. It called for ongoing transparency in the allocation of those commitments.
“Now is the time for bold and decisive investment to build our future,” a Caritas statement noted.
“In the Budget we find a foundation of hope; now we must ensure that all New Zealanders are able to contribute to, and benefit from, the opportunities that will arise from the more cohesive, resilient society that we rebuild together.”