Budget 2020: Dentists disappointed by lack of funding

Dentists are disappointed in the Government's Budget after they hoped it would deliver for them.

New Zealand Dental Association President Kate Ayers says the lack of funding to ease the cost of a dentist visit may mean people will put off attending appointments.

"There'll be people missing out on dental care and they're going to be suffering from pain and infection," Ayers says.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson says subsidised dental care was "never actually a policy" of the Government.

Also left out of the Budget was $10 off GP visits, something that was a major election promise. Robertson says that spending has instead been "reprioritised".

"We believe we are much better off focusing on other parts of the health sector," Robertson says.

Instead, to help families get by, the Budget goes back to basics.

There's $30 million for emergency food boxes, and $15 million for fruit and vegetable boxes

The number of children being fed at school will increase 10-fold to 200,000, costing more than $200 million.

Treasury documents predict Māori and Pacific people will be hurt the most. There's $900 million all up for Māori, including for Kо̄hanga Reo, Whānau ora and Māori housing.

But one Kiwi family is still concerned about their financial future after being one of the many hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis.

For freelance photographer Alex Wallace, a mortgage holiday and the wage subsidy is only just helping his family stay afloat.

"I think realistically it's going to be a long slow winter ahead and probably through to next year," he says.

The family has just two months' worth of savings left.

"Everything just toppled, my diary cleared out and it's been pretty much barren ever since."

They're staring down an unpredictable future, perhaps made ever more uncertain by no new boost to main benefits in the Budget beyond last month's $25 increase.