The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni
“Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families and children flies in the face of the Government’s supposed commitment to address the issues directly associated with poverty.
“They are barely surviving on current funding levels. The idea that they can sustain funding cuts as proposed by the Government is incredulous.
“The move comes as the Government moves to purchase social services through a new ‘community investment strategy’.
“Under the plan, several MSD-funded contracts, including programmes run by Women’s Refuge, Barnados and Presbyterian Support have been earmarked for funding reprioritisation.
“This follows hard on the heels of Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s appalling treatment of Relationships Aotearoa.
“These providers all play an essential role in supporting and keeping vulnerable families safe.
“Making efficiencies is one thing but what we are seeing here is symptomatic of ongoing under-resourcing and consistent cutting away of funds. Over seven years it all adds up,” Carmel Sepuloni says.