Labour, Greens & New Zealand First attack Steven Joyce's first Budget as 'the One Dollar Budget', and a bribe for the wealthy

Labour, Greens & New Zealand First attack Steven Joyce's first Budget as 'the One Dollar Budget', and a bribe for the wealthy

It has been criticised as the 'One Dollar Budget' and a bribe for the wealthy.

Political reaction to Steven Joyce’s first Budget as Finance Minister flowed thick and fast Thursday afternoon. Joyce’s set-piece ‘families package’ drew the most criticism.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little said the release was nothing but an election bribe to the wealthiest in society.

“This is simply cynical electioneering that does nothing to address the shortfalls in health, housing and education, and in fact makes them worse. It’s not a Budget for the future, it’s a Budget for September 23,” Little said.

“We can't afford National’s election bribe when young couples can’t buy their first home, when our hospitals are turning away patients, when kids are living in cars, when education standards are slipping, and when roads are clogged.

“For all National’s talk about tax cuts, the reality is that a single cleaner on a minimum wage will get just $1 a week extra. It’s the One Dollar Bill Budget,” he said.

This meant the big winners were “the top earners who take home most of the tax benefits.”

“This is a tired Government whose only idea left is to splash the cash instead of a genuine commitment to fix housing, health, education and infrastructure,” Little said.

“In health, this Budget is $200 million a year short of what DHBs need to stand still. In education, schools are short $70 million at a time when we have overcrowding and falling standards.

“And in housing National is only building one affordable house a day in Auckland for every 100 new Aucklanders. Labour is committed to fixing the housing crisis, clearing our roads of gridlock, and fixing the $1.7 billion hole in health.

A budget for the wealthy

Meanwhile, Green Party co-leader James Shaw said the Budget gave with one hand and took away with another. Wealthy New Zealanders were given the biggest break, he said.

“The only pie Bill English should be eating today is humble pie. We’ve had nine years of National in government and there is a decent surplus and all we’ve seen today is more tinkering.

“This Budget will make little difference to the lives of those who need it the most, and no difference at all for our environment.

“National couldn’t just give – they had to take away as well. National is increasing Working for Families credits for some, but have increased the severity of the abatement rates – making it harder for people to improve their circumstances.”

There was also a tax cut for the rich in disguise. “Those on the highest incomes will get the bulk of the benefit. Families on the highest incomes receive a tax cut of $33.22 while those in the bottom quintile get just five dollars a week. This is not what low and middle income earners need,” Shaw said.

“With this Budget, National has once and for all given up on addressing the causes of the housing crisis. Instead it is committed to spending hundreds of millions of dollars on stop-gap, piecemeal measures that are a band-aid, rather than a cure. There is nothing in here to dampen housing speculation or rampant investment,” he said.

“The Government expects rents to keep rising, and more people to require emergency housing. It has admitted defeat in the face of the housing crisis.

There was nothing in the Budget to “clean up our polluted rivers, lakes and streams, or protect our drinking water. A million dollars for one fund isn’t going to cut it – especially when National refuses to turn pollution off at the tap,” Shaw said.

“The Green Party will not allow one more lake or river to be polluted when in government – under National pollution will only get worse.

“National’s utter lack of leadership on climate change continues with this Budget. There is a paltry $4 million increase in funding to stop climate change, while there is also a $300 million increase in subsidies for polluters,” he said.

“What New Zealanders will be judging National on in September isn’t just what they say today, it will be their record on delivering solutions on the environment, incomes and housing over the last nine years. And National’s record is broken.”

Massive rise in inequality

New Zealand First’s Winston Peters said New Zealand in the last nine years had experienced a massive rise in inequality of incomes, wealth and opportunity.

“This budget should be careful to inform the country of potential instability and volatility so people can act accordingly. It should have addressed the stupid comment by a writer in the NZ Herald today that the government is “swimming in money.”

“The budget has no measures to turn around the decline in manufacturing and exports as a percentage of GDP, and set out clear tax policy to revive commerce and attack our national indebtedness,” Peters said.

“Only yesterday the Overseas Merchandise Trade statistics reveal the stunning success of National’s much-vaunted, tiring boastful export agenda. In the 12-months to April 2017, New Zealand’s merchandise exports grew by a staggering 0.2%. Multiply that by 10 years, what do you get? You get 2 percent. Two percent for a decade under National.”

“This is a willful, wanton, weak, wobbly, woeful minister with a willful, wanton weak, wobbly, woeful Budget full of posturing, half-truths and misinformation.”

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"Labour, Greens & New Zealand First attack Steven Joyce's first Budget"

Oh really

We've still got that bet haven't we Yvil? I say National win without having to work with Winnie! I say Kiwis buy this Joyce lolly scramble for rich landlords and National sits pretty for another disastrous 3 years.

Yes Blue meanie, I stand by my earlier view that no party will have a clear majority and that Winnie will be king maker

Yeah Yvil, another one of Alex's exciting headlines . lol ... he is getting better at it by the "minute" ... actually this phenomenon is now every where in the world of journalism ...use a shocking headline to get attention - getting disappointed once you start reading is "priceless" ...

I would be really worried had they liked it. Wait for it - its worse than Hitler.


This is kind of like the "lose/loose" thing. The expression is not "a load of crock" it is "a crock of sh*#" A crock is a large stone pot (like a crock pot) for keeping stuff in, when I was a kid my mother used one for preserved eggs, so as you can maybe see a load of crock is nothing at all, however if you take a crock and fill it with the brown sticky stuff that sometimes hits round whirly things, you may get the drift of the expression. Sorry, but it grinds my gears.
Other than that, you are probably right

They actually recover the entirety of that $10 a week and then some because of the bottom threshold's move.
The lifting of the bottom threshold from $14,000 to $22,000 added $10.77 per week to everyone eligible for the Independent Earner Tax Credit.

Thanks for your useful input with that observation! :-)

“This is a willful, wanton, weak, wobbly, woeful minister with a willful, wanton weak, wobbly, woeful Budget full of posturing, half-truths and misinformation.”

Gold ! I bet Winnie had to practice that a few times.

Go Winston

Waddle Winston !

... will wily William win with wastral wager wanting Winz welfare wards well-wishes ....

Wugger !

TV coverage of this budget ranged from non-existent on some channels to pathetic on the channel that did show it.


what do you expect from the shite excuse for media that we have in these fair isles

'Bribe for the Wealthy' is an exaggeration.
Pretty underwhelming, though, I must say in terms of taking NZ forward...

I hoping for an infrastructure budget..... something to compensate for immigration fueled population growth......

So, is the $4bn of new capital spending in the budget and infrastructure spending of $32.5bn over the next four years and consuming almost all the budget surplus during that period, not enough for you ?

I guess the concerning thing is that they are spending all that money on stuff that won't fix the problems. If they spent it all on public transport and housing in Auckland they would probably fix it

Is it really a budget surplus if they spend it on things that need doing? Isn't it then just breaking even, and not a surplus? I would say its a surplus when net debt is going down at the same time that services are not being reduced and assets not being sold.

If the economy is in such good shape and we can't afford to fund health and justice systems enough to keep up with inflation and population, what is going to happen in the next down turn?

Actually, it's just to get back to where things were previously after years of effectively frozen budgets for some areas. The problem is, population has increased more than the funding has ...this budget still sees health behind where it should be to keep up.

That was an absolute cracker of a speech by Winston Peters! Some uncomfortable truths. He's on track to get a huge percentage of the vote. On another topic this house sold for 1.315 million and this beautiful one sold for 1.43 million (these are nice 3 bedroom houses in good areas). Still not affordable but by my estimates they're approximately 200 to 400K down from the same time last year. Ouch!

National Party : give little cash to everyone and keep their mouth shut. Give little bribe and they will forget everything and vote for us.

Will it happen. Are Kiwis so naive.

More than poor it is a budget for the rich. Good try by national but have doubts that will be enough.

Being election year, people should take the bribe with a smile (anything is welcome) and than vote for a change. Give one more term to National and ..................

This budget is not for poor and not for Rich but for national party themselves as are trying to buy vote.


Are they concerned about average low and middle class family ?

Shame - That we voted them for 3 terms.

It is disgusting to see what National has done to NZ and now how they are trying to manipulate.

Their loosing will also help in avoiding seeing their Smirk face in the media on a daily basis.

Sorry editor of this website but this is how many feels and how can one not express when one can see through their farce.


The thing is this often happens, especially after a government has been in for a long time. Same thing happened last time, where the government tried to make almost everyone a beneficiary of some type, to increase the voter base. As well as nanny state policies. eg trying to dictate the type of light bulbs you could have in your house, which got scraped after they were voted out.

What they should have done is made the first 22k of earning tax free.


If you want to break the back of housing Speculators that destabilize the economy through decoupling wage income from property prices then you need to do this: "Ban foreign speculators from buying existing homes".

Labour will ban foreign speculators from buying existing New Zealand homes. This will remove from the market foreign speculators who are pushing prices out of reach of first home buyers.

That gets my vote!

Has to happen, along with a big reduction in immigration till such times as we get things back on track

"Has to Happen".......So you reduce immigration and who is going to do much of the heavy work? It most certainly won't be those who like to be tucked up in front of a keyboard with the air-con on. Lets face it a growing number of kiwis don't like hard physical work and are more than prepared to delegate outside physcial jobs to getting back on track will require more people who don't screw their noses up at labouring jobs!

Then we will need even more for the infrastructure needed for those who we brought in to sort the infrastructure because of the ones we brought in before. And that does not sound daft to you?

Some tax breaks were always on the cards, either reshuffling of the brackets or outright reduction in the tax percentages. This seems to be a better idea.
Any chance that any future government may also reduce the GST by a percentage or two, to reduce the cost of every day necessities ?

so, exactly how many years has the govt known 2/3rds of the independant tax rebate earners have not been claiming the rebate they are entitled too , and done nothing about it? That is shocking to me , and demands explanation

Deck chairs / Titanic.
Was Joyce pickled on The Project last night?

(Self) preservation

There is just no Vision for what we as New Zealand could be in any of these parties. None of them sell me a story Im excited about. Politics is so far removed from leaders like Norman Kirk, Joseph Savage, even, dare I say it, David Lange (in his first term). Spineless, uninspiring, self serving votehogs is what we have today.

You can't really have a common vision in a diverse society and a globalised world.. Diverse people means diverse visions, this is what diversity is. Your classic Kiwi is too individualistic and cynical to be part of a common vision even if it were possible these days and the vision in the old days, what there was of it, was shaped by the cultural milieu everyone was immersed in so it was manifested organically without too much thought. Now people who express the visions they have are usually regarded as nutters.

When you consider Nietzsche's maxim, "Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule" one could conclude that a national vision is likely to be an insane one anyway.

Pretty much. You only need to look at countries like England, Sweden or the U.S. to see the negative affects of multiculturalism in the western world and how it ruins the social fabric of societies.

Was interesting to note Stephen Joyce on morning television today, claiming the government has slowed the housing market down.

So they fact that the government are willing to claim that they slowed the housing market down, would imply that they have control over it. So if they can slow it down, that would mean that they caused it to grow at an uncontrollable rate for the last 9 years? And if they've slowed it down now, and that is something they can control, why have they done it now, not 9 years ago?

You can draw one of two conclusions to this: a) they are lying. b) they are incompetent because John Key said they were going to fix the housing crisis in 2007/2008 but failed to do so over a 9 year period.

Yeah, in my personal opinion I'd put Stephen Joyce's claim in the "Outright Lie" bucket.

The headline for this article should read "Auckland Landlords get massive ongoing intravenous drip" in 2017 Budget

Most folk will get around $8 to $10 per week in relief , except for Auckland landlords who will be receiving an additional eye-watering $110 in an increased Accommodation Supplement.

What is going on here ?

How did we get this so wrong ?


Succinct and to the point.