Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Budget 2002: Comments From ACT Spokespeople

Thursday 23 May 2002

JUSTICE Spokesman Stephen Franks. "This is the Government that promised to get tough on crime with its sentencing and parole legislation. Well, apparently they expect getting tough on crime to actually cost less in the short term - yeah right! If that's the case why didn't the Government accept truth in sentencing? The Government's forecasting [page 200, B.2 and B.3] a real $21 million drop in Corrections Department spending in the next four years. After inflation this represents effectively about a $50 million drop. It costs about $50,000 a year to keep a prisoner. How do we avoid the conclusion that under its apparently new tough sentencing regime the Government is expecting to have about 1000 less criminals behind bars in four years' time. The Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill was a sham. The Government has shown the fingers to the 92 percent of New Zealanders who voted for a tougher stance on crime."

EDUCATION Spokesman Donna Awatere Huata: "Trevor Mallard was again the big loser in funding battles around the cabinet table, and children in the classroom will suffer the effects. The Education vote has been given nothing more than the bare minimum to placate union leaders - it won't be enough to satisfy the teachers in the classroom. There is nothing to address the growing problem of drugs in our schools, the increasing number of kids dropping out with no qualifications, and no vision to lift - or even measure - educational outcomes."

HEALTH Spokesman Ken Shirley: "The Health budget announcements contained little new money or ideas, simply minor details of how funding already announced is going to be used in the primary care sector. Health suffered its first cut in real per person spending in the current financial year, which is why every single Health Board has been plunged into borrowing to maintain services. Labour has tried belatedly in election year to plaster over the widening cracks in the seams of their flagship health boards. The continued failure to harness the private health sector, along with Government under-funding will see continued headlines of the near crisis that surrounds mental health, and the need for Boards to cut or reduce services, to balance their budgets.

TERTIARY EDUCATION Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman "The further heavy handed treatment dealt to the private providers, which official information papers show have been largely responsible for driving innovation and opening up tertiary education to disadvantaged Maori and Pacific Islanders shows that this Government values ideology and spin far more than the wellbeing of students and the country."

SOCIAL SERVICES Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman: "Taxpayers lose out yet again as this Minister's failed stewardship leads to thousands more people moving into the benefit system, costing an additional $1 billion over the Government's three-year term."

MAORI AFFAIRS Spokesman Donna Awatere Huata: "This year's Budget has nothing for Maori. It is an indictment on the Labour Maori caucus that promised so much and delivered us nothing. This is a Bludger's Budget that rewards idleness. There is nothing in this document for young Maori who aspire to achieve, just more pay-outs for those who bludge off taxpayers."

RURAL AFFAIRS Spokesman Penny Webster: "Nothing in this year's Budget is going to help those in the rural sector. The last two years have focused minds on the fact that NZ is still an agricultural country but the government ignores the sector in their budget statement. Farmers, like other small businesses, want to see a reduction in taxes and compliance costs. The cost of bureaucracy like ACC and RMA is an issue but this Government doesn't want to recognise this."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news