National’s fudge-it budget not only fudges the numbers, it glosses over the real problems Kiwi families have been facing for five years, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.
“National has fudged the figures and achieved surplus through overcharging New Zealanders $120 million for ACC, pretending $375 million in transport spending is an interest free loan and cutting $567 million out of the Crown’s half share of local infrastructure from the Canterbury rebuild, despite the Council saying costs are increasing.
“A budget is about more than a surplus – it’s about people. John Key’s budget will do little to fix the widening gaps that have built up under his Government.
“Health spending is going backwards under National. This coming year total Crown spending goes from $14.4 billion to $14.7 billion. Using the Treasury figures and model, health faces a 2.3 per cent cut in real terms this year taking inflation and demographic changes into account.
“Most New Zealanders don’t earn enough; 46% of New Zealanders got no rise in their pay rate last year. Average pay rates went up 1.6% when inflation was 1.5%. Too many young people are in low paid and insecure service work. The benefits of growth are not getting through to working New Zealanders. This budget does not fix that
“Home ownership rates – one of the clearest indicators of inequality – are the lowest in 50 years and dropping. This budget does not fix that.
“This year the Government will spend more on super than educating our children. This budget does not fix that.
“National doesn’t have the ideas or the vision to improve the lives of New Zealanders. They concentrate on members of the Cabinet Club.
“In contrast Labour’s Economic Upgrade package that focusses on innovation, investment and industry will create secure jobs that pay higher wages. Already our Reserve Bank, forestry and manufacturing upgrades have met with widespread support.
“Labour has the innovative, fresh ideas to ensure New Zealand is a place of secure work, supported families and healthy homes
“The choice is clear: no ideas from National or new ideas from Labour,” David Parker says.
15 May 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT