In his Budget speech to the House, Bridges again tries to drive a wedge between Labour and NZ First

Opposition leader Simon Bridges has delivered his rebuttal to the Budget, saying the Government has nothing to offer Kiwis except more plans to tax, borrow and spend.

The National Leader spent much of his Budget speech in the House focusing on the “legacy” his party left the new Governmen.

“The Government books are incredibly strong; the economy is growing and there is serious investment into public services.”

He says Finance Minister Grant Robertson has one of the most enviable position of any Finance Minister around the world, thanks to National.

The Budget shows the Government will have a $7.3 billion surplus by 2021/22, with economic growth expected to average at a whisker under 3% over the next five years.

“But instead of acknowledging this fine legacy, Robertson calls this the rebuild Budget – but rebuilding what exactly?”

He went on to praise the former Government’s record on job creation and economic growth.

“When this Government took office, it inherited a bustling, dynamic economy which improved the lives of everyday New Zealanders.”

He points to National’s first Budget in 2008 as a “real rebuilding budget” where National had to work to address issues created by the global financial crisis.

Bridges also attempted to drive a wedge between Labour and its Coalition partner New Zealand First.

“Winston Peters is happy because he got his billion dollars for diplomats and a new embassy in Sweden. Unfortunately, Labour has prioritised that ahead of funding the Roxburgh children’s camp and mental health.”

Bridges says Labour’s should change its slogan from “Let’s do this” to “Winston, may I do this?”

Speaking to media after his speech, he reinforced this idea.

He said the areas the Government neglected in the Budget, such as no “real money” for mental health and taking $200 million out of PHARMAC, were done to make sure Peters got the things he wants.

This included the $1 billion for foreign investment and the $3 billion for the Provincial Growth Fund.

Bridges said last year, National’s Budget had $7 billion going into public services, that was $6.5 billion this year.

But within that figure, Bridges has included the $348 million Terranova settlement, which came about as a result of court action last year.

He denies it is disingenuous to include this figure in his calculations, saying it’s “real money, for real jobs.”

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Agree totally regarding New Zealand First slice of the pie.
New Zealand First were able to make capital from their early and somewhat large budget slices; foreign affairs and regional development. Even Winston's third love - racing - got an additional $4.8 million so will no doubt be adored in the members' stands.
Labour's flagship policies either trimmed or deferred.
The role of Deputy Prime Minister was only one (and relatively small) concession in negotiations to form a government.
Labour clearly made considerable promises to buy New Zealand First support and power which clearly National weren't prepared to match.

Winnie will not be adored in the members stands,you can bank on that.Every one in the racing industry,apart from the top echelon,new that Winnie wouldn't deliver,and he hasn't.

Your right $4.8 million will only buy him one round of drinks on Auckland Cup day. Racing industry needs something large out of the Regional Development. Joke unless it is trees.

It seems like only yesterday when NZs most prominent(now retired) studmaster was urging racing followers that the future of NZ Racing was with NZF.
Another prominent supporter is now training in Singapore.Hmmmmmmmm.
It appears they both got out because even they weren't true believers.

He said the areas the Government neglected in the Budget, such as no “real money” for mental health

Quite how National can criticise the government over mental health with a straight face is...well...It's enough to drive one bonkers. I've never known Bridges to have integrity in the past, so I see that's continuing.

Yes that is an extraordinary utterance, going on witless going on gauche. This bloke has simply got no nous. How on earth was he ever a crown prosecutor. Fair guess that there may be quite a few guilty ones still at large.

Labour ........... Oh My Gosh what an utter disappointment !

No change to immigration settings since they formed a Government
Affordable housing is a hoax ( which many of us called out before the election )
Tax and Spend other peoples money until it runs out is the flagship policy
No reduced doctors visit costs
No new Policemen
No new roads critical to a growing population ( Roads are of no significance )
Discouraging investment in housing stock to rent , when up to 40% if Kiwis live in rented accommodation
Canning the measurement of schoolkids progress on a uniform basis , and replace it with ........nothing !
Buy NZ Firsts support with bribes for pet projects .

This is the state we are in !

They're similar to National in that they believe that public debt must be constrained as much as possible. Kind of the opposite of progressive economic thought.

Good on them for that.

Well yes, if they want to keep the private sector, particularly h'holds, mired in debt, they're on the right path.

That's a false dichotomy. Wanting to contain government debt after growing by 400% over the last decade is not mutually exclusive to households shrinking their debt. Changing focus away from property speculation will be the key to reducing household debt. Kiwibuild should help with that.

Interesting that the leaders of four out of five of our political parties are Māori. And the party with the only non-Māori leader holds all the Māori seats. That strikes me as a magnificent coup. I wish Māori would get their land back.

100 years from now we all will be anyway. Time is the great and only real solver of colonisation.

Looked like the journo behind him was struggling to stay awake, and its obvious why, he needs to brush up on his presentation skills.

Good things take time.

Well he would say that wouldn't he. Yawn.

Agree with you both. Bridges is boring and no personality. Together with his Westie deputy, Paula Bennett, they will spend another term in opposition. They are the Auckland Blues, don't change anything and expect to win. Make the shittiest opponents look good. I'll struggle to vote for national with this guy as our PM.

Not sure what is going on with Paula Benefits new look, but it would appear she's getting ready to take a staring role as a Capitol city leader in Hunger Games.

Bridges and Bennett: The Auckland Blues.

That's not bad, Chessmaster. Not bad.

where is nationals alternate budget? opposition parties of the past used to put up one so you could compare and not just listen to negative comments.
i was a bit disappointed that there was not much about future tech, ie more on electric transportation to wean us off oil especially since they are curtailing future finding of new reserves.
as for the spending, that had to come with the increase in population, you can not increase quickly maintain spending and expect service standards of schools, hospitals, law and order, to stay at the same level

It’s unchanged.