We've just had our national Budget, and to say that I was disappointed would imply that I had respect and expectations that were favourable to this Government.

We got nothing more than what I might have expected ... a tinkering with some of the issues and no long-term action to remedy the downward trend of the standard of living of those that have little influence on the process of government.

One topic that I have noted with due concern is the housing situation.

This Government has changed the name of "state housing" to "social housing". This is an indication of the intended abrogation of the state's responsibilities to continue to provide adequate affordable (to lower income groups) rental accommodation.

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These affordable accommodations should be available for purchase by incumbent renters. The name change is a simple way of redirecting the people to accept the impression that social housing is not a Government responsibility and that third-party owners can purchase these accommodations so that the Government no longer is responsible.

Affordable housing ... I am disturbed each time I hear a Government member use this phrase. Affordable to whom? When my father purchased his state house rental home, his time as a state house renter was considered in the purchase price, as was the age of the house at the time. This purchase was done as a single-income wage-earner family.

Housing in general, and an increase in employment ... If this Government embarked on a programme of building more (not just a few hundred) affordable (really affordable) state (yes, state!) houses to be rented at an affordable (I mean affordable) rate, we would need more builders, labourers, electricians, plumbers, timber merchants, painters, plasterers, accountants, solicitors, drivers, drainlayers, retail outlets ... A state housing boom would inject enthusiasm, money, and most of all hope into this country's currently overburdened lower and middle-income peoples.

Gary Little
Kaitaia

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