6 Jun 2013

South Auckland budget service cuts staff

9:06 pm on 6 June 2013

A South Auckland budget support centre is laying off more than half its staff, because it says it has not been given the government funding it needs.

Mangere Budgeting Services is making five of its eight employees redundant by the end of June.

The centre's chief executive, Darryl Evans, says it received $45,000 extra this year in addition to the $219,000 gets annually, which he says is not enough to pay eight staff as well as operating costs.

Mr Evans says the team has seen more than 2000 people so far this year despite having funding to help about 300 people. He says opening hours will probably have to be reduced and waiting times will be longer.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the Government has maintained baseline funding for the service which has also received extra money recently allocated.

In a statement, Ms Bennett said the Government was this year providing over $317,000 to Mangere Budgeting Services compared to $243,200 it received under Labour in 2008.

The organisation received $45,000 from funding allocated for 2013/14 to relieve pressure on the budgeting services sector in the short term. The statement said it was unfortunate the service had been unable to secure funding from other streams.

Mr Evans told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme budgeting is not a "sexy" charity, so it is extremely hard for his service to attract additional funding and the Government has to step up and provide more money.