New Zealand Labour Party

Passing the buck a disaster in the making

Moves to overhaul the social services sector are nothing more than privatisation in drag and are a potential disaster in the making, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says.

“A report from the Productivity Commission supports the Government’s push for ‘client-based funding’ of social services.

“What that really means is competitive profit-driven provision of core services, with NGOs competing with the private sector.

 “These are the same NGOs that are being expected to meet increased demand while at the same time being handed a reduced pot of money.

“We’ve seen an example of this just today with providers of home support services warning care will ‘increasingly become an option for only those who can afford it.’

“The Government will undoubtedly try to sell these latest reforms as innovative and forward looking. Bill English, the architect of them, introduced a similar investment approach to health in the 90s’.

 “It failed then and it will fail again.

 “The Government has an obligation to help address the needs of our most vulnerable citizens, but it must be done in collaboration with NGOs and community services.

“Washing its hands of any responsibility is not an option,” Carmel Sepuloni says.