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Budgeting services to recieve $22mil boost

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New Zealand News | Tuesday May 6 2014 5:29

Budgeting services to recieve $22mil boost

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A $22 million boost for budgeting services is being seen as a good use of taxpayer money.

The funding injection was announced yesterday by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

Salvation Army spokeswoman Pam Waugh says it's an effective way to help families in need.

She says budgeting always creates good outcomes, getting people out of debt and helping them learn to manage their money.

Darryl Evans from Mangere Budgeting Services says funding needs to be focused on communities with the highest need.

He says more funding needs to be put into areas of high deprivation, such as South Auckland.

He says people shouldn't feel ashamed of seeking advice from budgeting services.

There are also calls for the Government to follow up its funding boost to budgeting services, with other policies that reduce family poverty.

Mr Evans says the government needs to create more jobs, support more training and introduce a living wage.

"They do want to know that they are capable of paying the rent, paying the power, putting some petrol in the car and more importantly to have some money left over to put good food on the table."

An anti-loan shark initiative launched by BNZ and the Government is set to have spin-offs for the economy.

The Government, BNZ, Salvation Army, and Good Shepherd NZ are working together to provide interest-free and low-interest loans to people who need them, with BNZ committing $10 million over five years.

Massey University banking expert Claire Matthews says many people face significant hardship as a result of seeking high-interest loans from loan sharks.

"If you can improve that and get them the funding they need at a more affordable rate they're going to be much better off and that's better for the country as a whole."

Ms Matthews says a similar scheme has been operating in Australia for around a decade.

"Bringing it into offers the opportunity to have something equally effective in the New Zealand market."

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