July 5, 2022

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Kiwis react to Budget 2022

7 min read


After the Government’s release of the 2022 Budget, Stuff spoke to a number of Kiwis about what they made of it – and whether they feel it’ll make a difference to their lives.

READ MORE:
* Budget 2022: Poorer Kiwis sidelined in rush to help ‘squeezed middle’
* Budget 2022: Government to ‘transform’ disability support with $943m injection
* Budget 2022 has ‘little impact’ for established small businesses
* Budget 2022: The little Budget projects you didn’t know about
* As it happened: All the Budget 2022 news, analysis and reactions

Rose Gerrard – the carer

Rose Gerrard will spend her $350 payment from the Budget on clothing for the children she’s supporting.

Jericho Rock-Archer

Rose Gerrard will spend her $350 payment from the Budget on clothing for the children she’s supporting.

While Gerrard’s household of six in Cannons Creek, Porirua, consists of three adults, only Gerrard is eligible for the one-off $350 payment because the others are receiving benefits.

However, the payment would make a “really good difference” because it could help buy clothes and shoes for the three children she supports.

“This will make things a lot easier to be able to get their sports things, and to just buy normal clothing, underclothes, socks, winter wear and stuff like that,” she said.

Extending fuel tax cuts and half-price public transport mean little for them however, as the working adults have work vehicles while the children walk to school down the road.

But even with the extra bit of cash, she is going to have to keep budgeting.

Reporting by Justin Wong.

Eliot Forrest – the youth advocate

Eliot Forrest welcomed the investment into the health system.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/Stuff

Eliot Forrest welcomed the investment into the health system.

Before Thursday’s Budget announcement, Forrest hoped it would include a boost for healthcare.

The 22-year-old, who is disabled and neurodivergent, was unable to work and received a supported living payment of $431.46 per week, despite needing to spend hundreds each month on prescriptions and transport to medical appointments.

The news that half-price public transport would be extended for a further two months would be a boost for lots of people, they said.

“It will benefit people in my household. I know so many low income people that use the public transport and the price cuts have been really, really welcomed.”

The extra $27 a week for low earners – paid in three monthly instalments from August 1 – left Forrest feeling elated.

“[It’s] literally insane… That’s going to be celebrated. When that comes through, it means that we won’t have to worry nearly as much about our financial situation.”

Reporting by Lee Kenny

Alice Townsend – the small business owner

Alice Townsend thinks the investment into small businesses may benefit her hairdressing business.

Olivia Caldwell/Stuff

Alice Townsend thinks the investment into small businesses may benefit her hairdressing business.

For Townsend, the Budget dangled a carrot of possible funding to help her Wānaka hairdressing business.

The Government announced it planned to invest $100m over the coming year buying minority shareholdings in small and medium-sized businesses wanting to expand.

However, Townsend was waiting for more detail about which businesses might qualify.

Townsend wanted this year’s Budget to include more small business support, training incentives and tax breaks for taking on apprentices and was pleased to see money allocated to help build a locally-trained, skilled and productive workforce.

“Minimum wage is almost impossible for them to live on here, but impossible for us to come up with while we are training them.”

Reporting by Olivia Caldwell

Keith Blair – the pensioner

There is little in this year’s Budget for Keith Blair.

CHRIS SKELTON/Stuff

There is little in this year’s Budget for Keith Blair.

While the Budget delivered little to Blair, except being able to use public transport for half price, he was not disappointed.

At 75, Blair felt fortunate not to have to struggle to make ends meet, but had introduced some cost-cutting measures over the past year.

The pensioner lived alone in a three-bedroom home in Spreydon, Christchurch, which he paid off before retiring.

He spent about $110 a week on groceries, which was his biggest expense along with fuel.

He had hoped Thursday’s Budget would include a reduction in GST, as he believed 15% was “quite excessive”.

However, he was pleased a bill was being bought before Parliament on Thursday night that might stop the supermarket duopoly.

Reporting by Mariné Lourens

Charnae Pyke – the beneficiary

Charnae Pyke is disappointed there is no extra help for those on benefits.

STACY SQUIRES/Stuff

Charnae Pyke is disappointed there is no extra help for those on benefits.

Pyke is disappointed by this year’s Budget.

Like many beneficiaries, the Christchurch mum watches every penny but still struggles to get to the end of a week.

She had hoped the Government would take GST off nutritious food or increase the benefit to match inflation.

But after reading the announcements, she felt there was nothing in it for people like her.

With costs increasing all the time, Pyke had hoped the Government would offer more support.

“It’s pretty disappointing.”

Reporting by Nadine Porter

Premo Maas – the rural Aucklander

Maas’ hopes of seeing solar power subsidies for every Auckland home didn’t turn into reality.

RICKY WILSON/Stuff

Maas’ hopes of seeing solar power subsidies for every Auckland home didn’t turn into reality.

Maas lives in rural Piha with his partner, Marion.

He was glad to hear of further investment in the country’s Emissions Reduction Plan, which aligns with his passions of seeing New Zealand become a more environment-friendly nation.

However, his hopes of seeing solar power subsidies for every Auckland home didn’t turn into reality, he was also disappointed to see a lack of investment into more subsidies for the purchasing of electric vehicles.

“It is disappointing Government aren’t putting a lot on focus on solar power in particular, I think they should put more effort into encouraging people to instal them,” he said.

As a passionate environmentalist, Maas hopes New Zealand will follow in the footsteps of his native Germany, in taking opportunities to make renewable energy more affordable.

Reporting by Nathan Morton

Alun Bain – the middle-aged couple

Like many middle-aged couples in New Zealand, Bain and his fiancé, Joel Crisp are looking to purchase a house in Auckland.

Abigail Dougherty/Stuff

Like many middle-aged couples in New Zealand, Bain and his fiancé, Joel Crisp are looking to purchase a house in Auckland.

Alun Bain, who lives in Freemans Bay, central Auckland, was generally happy with what he saw from Budget 2022, in particular the further investment into areas such as homelessness, which had a $75m for the Homelessness Action Plan.

Like many middle-aged couples in New Zealand, Bain and his fiancé, Joel Crisp are looking to purchase a house in Auckland.

“There was still room for them to do something like bringing up the first homeowners grant, or bringing in first homeowners guarantee like they have in Aussie,” said Bain.

“So a little disappointing they didn’t bring in anything for middle New Zealand trying to get on the property ladder.”

Reporting by Nathan Morton

Wendy Matthews – the medical beneficiary

Wendy Matthews with her husband Peter Matthews at their home in Warkworth, Auckland.

Abigail Dougherty/Stuff

Wendy Matthews with her husband Peter Matthews at their home in Warkworth, Auckland.

Wendy Matthews suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

It means she, along with roughly 25,000 other Kiwis, won’t see any benefit from the Budget’s investment into a disability transformation system.

“It doesn’t quite address our problem, as the bar is just too high to access it,” she said.

Matthews is hopeful ME will soon be recognised as a disability, which has already happened in Australia, so she might be able to access more financial Government support for things like home care.

“It’s nice to hear more money is going into healthcare providers, so more staffing, just as long as the money trickles through and at the end of it, we see an outcome and it benefits people at the end of the chain.”

Reporting by Nathan Morton

RYAN ANDERSON/STUFF

Aucklanders react to the announcement of a $350 payment for people earning under $70k.

Payment ‘more symbolic than anything’

Aucklanders reacted to the announcement by describing the payment as a token gesture.

Adnan Ahmed, who lives in Auckland’s suburb of Henderson, said he wasn’t sure the payout would make a big difference to eligible people.

“It seems like it’s more symbolic than anything. Everyone can use $350 but what is supposed to resolve?”

Ahmed said the payout would cover about two weeks’ worth of groceries over its entire term, and would only touch a fraction of his rent.

He said if the government did something about the cost of living, it wouldn’t need to worry about a $350 payout.

Reporting by Nathan Morton

Kiri Retemeyer said being a beneficiary had made her put her cat before herself.

Grace Prior/Stuff

Kiri Retemeyer said being a beneficiary had made her put her cat before herself.

Kiri Retemeyer, who lives in Ponsonby, said being a beneficiary had made her put her cat before herself, often having more cat food in the house than food for herself. She said her family would point this out to her, and take her shopping.

She said her income was just a “drop in the ocean” compared to what she had to spend each week, with living prices increasing since the first Covid-19 lockdown.

Avondale resident David Arai said the payout would be enough for some groceries, and it was “better than nothing”.

“It’s not a big difference, it’s enough to survive.”

Reporting by Nathan Morton



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