Social bonds not the answer

The Government’s social bond plan to allow foreign companies to profit off mentally ill New Zealanders will put already vulnerable people at further risk, the Green Party said today.

The National Government today announced that the first social bond to get people with mental illness into work has been launched.

“Social bonds are a continuation of the Government’s attempt to privatise public services, which will always see the most vulnerable left out and National’s mates better off,” said Green Party social development spokesperson Jan Logie.

“National has been trying to launch these social bonds since 2013, with many expensive unintended detours and holdups. The set-up costs have run into the tens of millions of dollars, at a time when our social services are under severe budgetary restraints.

“This new contract doesn’t sound like it will be particularly innovative, it will just suck resources away from core Government services. Models of individualised support and wrap-around care are nothing new and nothing our own community organisations can’t or aren’t providing already.

“If the National Government is going to waste so much money, they need to show the innovation and why it required a bond to deliver it.

“Mentally ill New Zealanders need the Government to commit to funding better mental health services, not to abdicate responsibility for their welfare to foreign companies.

“Our mental health system is broken. The Green Party has long been calling for a nationwide mental health review to look into the issues, but privatising this key social service is not the answer that New Zealanders are looking for,” Ms Logie said.

 

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