Let’s see how the budget handles the inflation, housing, and health issues plaguing the south
Southland MP Joseph Mooney.
OPINION: It’s been two weeks of parliamentary recess, and it was great to be in the Southland region and meet a variety of people and organisations.
The cost of living is skyrocketing. Inflation hit a new 30-year high of 6.9% and contributed to the rising cost of living.
A high rate of inflation means that there is a general increase in the prices of basic necessities like food and fuel, but with a decrease in the value of your money.
When I met with the Salvation Army, they told me that the organization was seeing an increase in the number of people seeking help with basic living needs. Families are struggling to make ends meet.
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Housing and rental costs are also significant issues.
The Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust is doing a great job with its housing estates in the district to support low income families in housing.
Chris Bishop MP joined me for a tour of their Toru apartments, 44-lot development, Alps View development and their flagship project, Nerin Square.
It is extremely important that the government commits to the principle of inclusive zoning in the district.
Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust’s unique lease model and Secure Home program will provide long-term affordable housing and tenure-assisted home ownership.
I am working with key community stakeholders to call on the government to make amendments to the Social Security Act 2018 to ensure that the legislation responds to the realities of changing demographics in the district when applying for supplement to the lodging.
Health and the lack of general practitioners and rural medical personnel like nurses are persistent problems throughout the region.
Our health services are stretched, especially rural health, and we must spare a thought for our GPs and nurses who have seen their workloads increase as Covid spreads through our communities.
While hospitals too face an explosion in the number of cases, elective and other services must not suffer.
Access to colonoscopy, gynecology and orthopedic services, for example, remains a problem for many in our electorate.
I have written to the Prime Minister and Minister of Health, imploring them to urgently look into the plight of our health workers and ensure that rural New Zealand is not left behind.
The Southland Charity Hospital building nearing completion is great news.
I am in regular contact with Missy Vining and her team for updates on their cause on behalf of the community.
Its success highlights the importance of tackling the problem of lack of government funding for cancer patients.
This year, Budget Day is May 19. This is when the government will explain how it intends to spend our hard-earned tax dollars.
I plan to hold a series of post-budget meetings to explore what the 2022/23 budget will mean for businesses and workers.
Joseph Mooney is the MP for Southland.