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.