Appearance before the Finance and Expenditure Committee

The Budget Policy Statement 2020

Sophie and Steve representing Challenge 2000 before the Finance and Expenditure Committee

On Wednesday 12 February 2020 at 8.55am a Challenge 2000 delegation appeared before the Parliamentary Finance and Expenditure Committee.

The team made verbal submission on the Budget Policy Statement 2020. This document outlines the Governments priorities for the upcoming and immanent 2020 Budget.

The members of the delegation were: Tina Wilkins, leadership team member; Steve O’Connor, management team; and Sophie Jennings, a social worker.

The theme of the Challenge 2000 submission was advocating a 2020 Budget focus on increasing social justice, by encouraging expenditure on policies that assist beneficiaries, because they are one of the most the most disadvantaged and marginalised groups in New Zealand.

To this end the delegation recommended that the budget should firstly immediately focus on raising basic benefits rates and then on reforming the Welfare system to ensure it enhances the mana and dignity of all.

Sophie presented a case study illustrating the difficulties a family have feeding their children adequately or providing basics on the current level of benefits. The case study also provided an exemplar of excellent customer service from the Naenae MSD office Lower Hutt.

The committee members responded enthusiastically to the Challenge presentation. At the introduction, which created engagement and laughter, one opposition member shouted, “Give them what they want”.

At the end, the committee chair thanked the Challenge 2000 delegation, also, a government committee member provided positive feedback, saying, “Good submission, kept us focused on the needs of low income groups and continued the morning theme, that welfare payments are simply not enough. Good relaxed, informal style and will be remembered.”