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Party leaders give reaction to the budget, with Act and National saying its spending will push up inflation, the Greens say it is good as far as it goes and Te Pati Maori saying it has missed real opportunities

Public Policy / news
Party leaders give reaction to the budget, with Act and National saying its spending will push up inflation, the Greens say it is good as far as it goes and Te Pati Maori saying it has missed real opportunities

Opposition politicians have delivered a range of attacks on the Budget.

According to the National Party, this was no bread-and-butter Budget and an irresponsible spending spree. 

According to Te Pati Maori, this “no-frills” Budget is irrelevant to many of their people who can’t afford kai, let alone frills.

The Budget forecasts an end to serious inflation by the end of next year and lower than expected peak unemployment. But it also has a higher deficit than in previous forecasts.

The Budget also promises financial help for early childhood education, free prescriptions for most medicines and free or cheap public transport for young people.

There will also be special help for the gaming industry, along with more money for healthy homes and better support facilities for electric vehicles.

The Government is defending its budget as a modest, responsible one, designed to help people during difficult times, and to take responsible steps to help the environment without overwhelming state finances.

But this view cuts no ice with the National Party leader, Christopher Luxon, who argues the Budget is a reckless one. 

“Finance Minister Grant Robertson promised a bread-and-butter Budget. What he delivered was a spending spree creating a massive increase in deficits and debt climbing for years to come,” Luxon says.

“This is the Blowout Budget, the culmination of Grant Robertson’s massive spending spree as Finance Minister for six years.”

The Green Party gives qualified support to the Budget. The Party co-leader Marama Davidson says there could have been more for the environment in the Budget.

“But the Green wins that we were pleasantly surprised to see were the home insulation scheme being extended, the free public transport and cheaper public transport, and early childhood education being extended.”

Asked if this meant the Labour Government was implementing Green policies, the co-leader James Shaw says the party is more than happy if other people steal its ideas.

The ACT Party leader David Seymour is scathing about the Budget, saying the spending programmes announced will trigger other problems that will more than cancel out their benefit. 

“I think the deficit is irresponsible,” he says. 

“I think it will lead to a lot of pressure on inflation and therefore on interest rates and so I think you are going to see a major problem with the cost of living which will overwhelm the initiatives they have put in place, such as prescriptions and free childcare and bus fares.”

Te Pati Maori co-leader Rawiri Waititi says the Budget has missed a whole lot of opportunities. 

“There are a lot of things they could have done that would have made life easier for our people right now,” Waititi says.   

‘They could have taken GST off kai right now, and pushing through legislation against price hikes from the supermarket duopoly could happen right now.

“Our whanau don’t have any dignity, they can’t put kai on the table, we have got people who are homeless, one in five tamariki are living in poverty, those are the things that are happening right now.” 

Waititi says what he wants is a budget that lifts people up.

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national bringing back the $5 fee is just mean especially to all those outside of main centres where there is not chemist warehouse to get it free


I thought the $5 was a good disincentive to not get stuff you don’t actually need. Half the time the doctor prescribes some paracetamol or something not needed. Now it’s free you may as well pick it up at the taxpayers expense. 


The cost of going to the doctor to get a prescription is more the problem. About $100 on the weekend. Not a lot of difference between $100 and $105. If I can’t afford the $5 I can’t afford to go to the doctor to get the prescription. 


Yes , that comment showed how out of touch the big city politicans are with the rest of NZ.Or for those with limited mobility.


It seems to be a very expensive policy relative to what we get from it, especially as most of the population does live somewhere where you can get a free prescription.

Surely would have been better to target spend on making it totally free (not just subsidised) for lower income earners to go to the doctor so they can a) get their prescription written and b) actually go to the doctor when sick rather than clogging up the emergency room.

There is already some kind of discounted/free prescription card system anyway isn't there? 

Of course you are right that it makes National look terribly mean. It's like Luxon and Willis want to come across as deliberately out of touch as possible. If they had a shred of political nous they could have counterattacked on the lines of there being nothing in the budget for those without kids, middle income earners etc but no let's go after poor people trying to get their medication ... that will show 'em. 


Let us not loose focus here, this $5 is a non issue compared to what a let down this entire budget is.

Are we going to see reduced crime ?

Are we going to see some really good ideas on stimulating the economy ?


Robertson damns himself with his comment on $20bn infrastructure spend..."we should be able to get the money out the door". That's his attitude - not prioritise high value / ROI projects and manage them well. Infrastructure spend is just part of vote buying.


On comments like these

"pushing through legislation against price hikes from the supermarket duopoly could happen right now.

That is a very naive view, look at what happened to inflation in countries who did that recently.

Inflation is 24%

Yes we want lower food prices and better competition, but the job of the government is not to set prices and micromanage.

Open up competition !