Summary of Auckland J&P Commission recommendations on Government Budget Policy Statement:
1. Lift living standards for all families to ensure they have a decent income to support themselves.
2. Deliver a more productive, participative and competitive economy by supporting the Living Wage and lead in this by committing to pay state employees at least the Living Wage and negotiate with Government contractors to ensure that contractors pay at least the Living Wage.
3. Substantially increase the base benefit for families and extend Working for Families to beneficiaries.
4. Establish a Benefits Entitlement Commissioner whose office would provide a network of advocates people could call on to provide information and practical support in helping people access the assistance they are entitled to in times of need.
5. Undertake an extensive program to build adequate numbers of well-maintained state houses for state tenants rather than the very expensive provision of ‘accommodation allowances’ for private landlords or by paying for motel accommodation.
6. Commit to a cross-party Justice Re-Investment Strategy as recommended in the Dec 2016 Salvation Army report Beyond the Prison Gate that aims to reduce spending on custodial prison services and re-invest savings in strategies that can decrease crime, reduce reoffending and strengthen communities.
7. Take climate change seriously by moving to a low-carbon economy, offer incentives to reduce emissions, set a sensible tax on carbon emissions, invest more in better public transport including rail projects, and invest in Improving the quality of our water and waterways.