The Budget has failed to deliver any meaningful improvements for beneficiaries, advocates Auckland Action Against Poverty say.

Incomes of sole parents on the benefit will remain at poverty levels and many will continue to face sanctions Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP) say are punitive.

"Given Labour has previously agreed to remove Section 70A sanctions for people receiving a benefit, we were disappointed that no changes on welfare came about in today's announcement," co-ordinator Ricardo Menendez said.

Section 70A reduces the benefit for single mums who don't name their baby's father.


"Withholding money from our poorest communities and core public services doesn't align with a government that claims to be pulling out all the stops to end homelessness and child poverty."

The Government could issue a directive to Work and Income workers to assume that solo parents' motivations for not naming the father in the birth certificate are reasonable, Menendez said.

"It would be that simple."

AAAP also criticised the Government for increasing police numbers, a criticism echoed by prison abolition advocates People Against Prisons Aotearoa (PAPA).

The Government has committed $300 million to boost frontline numbers in a bid to improve community safety and target organised crime.

It has also promised 1800 new officers, including 1100 more officers on the streets.

"This Government is saying one thing and doing another," PAPA spokeswoman Emilie Rākete said.

"While it calls for a "more humane justice system" it pours billions of dollars into a prison system that doesn't work."


PAPA said the increase in police numbers would lead to more people in prison, and undermined the Government's goal to reduce the prison population by 30 per cent over the next 15 years.

"The fact that this Government is going to build 600 new prisoner places demonstrates how little commitment it has to reducing prisoner numbers."