Today Abigail announced a Bill to create a structure for a wellbeing budget for NSW, the Fiscal Responsibility Amendment (Wellbeing Budget) Bill 2023.
The Fiscal Responsibility Amendment (Wellbeing Budget) Bill 2023 would require the NSW Government to prioritise spending to address cost of living pressures and intergenerational equity. This follows the Treasurer’s indication that despite increasing cost of living pressures, core spending will be cut during the September budget forcing the people of NSW to bear the burden.
The bill embeds ‘intergenerational equity’ as a requirement of the fiscal responsibility of the government, as well as a mandate to report on cost of living measures. Intergenerational equity, according to the Bill, is to be achieved by ensuring the current generation not only funds the costs of the generation’s services but also the cost of repairing the social, environmental and cultural damage caused by the current and previous generations.
The Treasurer would be required to include a report in the budget papers on the measures taken, and the effectiveness of those measures, to ensure the long-term economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing of the State.
This comes in light of the Federal Labor budget in October of last year which indicated that they would be introducing a wellbeing framework called ‘Measuring What Matters’ based on the OECD. However, it has not yet been implemented.
Quotes attributable to Abigail Boyd, Greens spokesperson for Treasury and Finance:
“This is a Bill that recognises that the Budgets of governments should be designed to improve peoples lives.
“Having a AAA credit rating means nothing if the people of our state continue to suffer declines in their material well being.
“It’s time to move past the obsession with rating agencies, unaccountable agencies that distort the democratic outcomes of governments.
“Aotearoa New Zealand introduced a wellbeing framework in 2019. As cost of living pressures and wealth inequality skyrockets, it is more important than ever to secure this framework as a defining part of Government spending.
“The Wellbeing Bill means that - women and children unable to access domestic violence shelters, injured workers unreasonably denied assistance under a broken compensation system, teachers, midwives, nurses and paramedics who have seen their wages fall backwards could for the first time be prioritised under Government spending. The way that it should be,” Abigail said.