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Bland, Boring Budget Ducks The Real Issues

23 May 2002

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says Budget 2002 is a bland, boring document that ducks the real issues.

"The Minister of Finance lacks a genuine vision of where New Zealand can head."

"To him, good economic numbers have become an end in themselves, rather than a springboard for the future."

"This Budget continues the trend of Budget 2001 which was a disjointed collection of policy announcements with no over arching theme."

"Today's Budget's greatest strength is that it is safe and unspectacular, which is politically good for the government in the lead-up to an election, but it is also its greatest weakness."

"Nothing has been done to enhance the role of the family as the cornerstone of society and to recognise that when the family does well, the nation does well."

"This Budget will do nothing to:

* Recognise the partnership role of parents by allowing them to split income for tax purposes * Provide more support for the voluntary sector, including organisations like Plunket, to work directly with parents and children to ensure every child gets the best start in life * Reduce the number of households in which a benefit is the major income source, and help the 321,000 children being brought up in such homes * Stop the 195% increase in child assaults since 1990, and address the sad reality that 40% of criminal offenders are aged between 14 and 18 years * Encourage young New Zealanders to stay here and work to build a better country, rather than taking their skills overseas * Promote New Zealand's future as a cohesive multicultural society which is the best place in the world to raise a family, and a stable and secure environment within which to do business."

"Dr Cullen gets a B+ for good economic numbers, but a low for D for vision and promoting civil society, giving Budget 2002 an overall C- grade," says Mr Dunne.


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