20 May 2011

Figures claimed to disprove job growth expectations

2:00 pm on 20 May 2011

A Salvation Army social policy analyst says there are unrealistic expectations for job growth in the Budget.

The Treasury is forecasting 4% economic growth in 2012, as well as strong wage growth.

But the Salvation Army's Alan Johnson told a post-Budget breakfast in Wellington on Friday that those predictions - along with one of 170,000 jobs being created over the next four years - are presumptuous.

The reality is, Mr Johnson says, that the Ministry of Social Development is budgeting for more spending on main benefits - $5 billion, up from $4.8 billion - "so in actual fact while the Treasury are saying we're going to have fewer people on the dole, the people who are actually doling out the dole are saying we're going to budget for more".

Mr Johnson also co-chairs the Child Action Poverty Group.