Parliament

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

 

Dunne celebrates concrete Budget wins


Thursday, 15 May 2003

Dunne celebrates concrete Budget wins

United Future New Zealand leader, Peter Dunne, today expressed his pleasure at the substantive gains the party has achieved in the Government's 2003 Budget.

"Over the next four years, approximately $140 million will be spent by the Government on many initiatives promoted by United Future - some of them in co-operation with Labour," he said.

"Naturally, there are many more programmes we would like to have seen delivered, but as the party of commonsense, we recognise that the voters gave us 8 out of 120 votes in Parliament and we are realistic in our goals.

"Because of the successful and pragmatic relationship we have been able to maintain with the Labour/Progressive government, we have been able to achieve much more than all the Opposition parties put together. They whinge while we work.

"It's called MMP government and United Future is proud to help make it work for the benefit of all New Zealand."

Turning to specifics, Mr Dunne said the jewel in the Budget crown was clearly the $28 million over four years that will fund the Families Commission from July next year.

"I predict this Commission will prove to be a vital cog in our campaign to make New Zealand a better society to live in and in which to raise our children," he said. "Family breakdown costs New Zealand literally billions of dollars a year; this very small investment in the health of our families will prove to be one of the best investments any government has ever made.

"We were delighted earlier in this term of Parliament to work with Labour to bring in stronger rights for the victims of crime and we are therefore very pleased to see Victim Support is to get an additional $2 million over four years to establish a new district structure.

Mr Dunne said that if there was one area of the Budget that disappointed, it was the lack of any significant tax reform.

"United Future believes hard-working middle New Zealand families and businesses are crying out for tax relief right now.

"I understand the caution of the Minister of Finance in waiting to see if the Budget surpluses are temporary or permanent, but I believe that in waiting until next year, before committing any of the surplus, there is a whiff of Labour's future interests being put ahead of the immediate needs of New Zealanders.

"Nonetheless, we are pleased to be associated with the Labour-led Government's action in reducing the tax burden on employer-funded superannuation schemes. At a cost to the government coffers of $65 million over four years, it is a small but significant move in the right direction," he said.

"United Future also believes that this Budget would have been a good opportunity for all petrol taxes to be spent on roading, rather than disappearing into the Consolidated Fund. We have a transport infrastructure crisis in this country right now and urgent action to overcome it is required immediately."

Mr Dunne paid tribute to the solid work put in by United Future's education spokesman, Bernie Ogilvy, in pushing for adequate resourcing to ensure the NCEA system works properly.

"He pushed successfully for an inquiry by Parliament's education select committee into the NCEA and as a result of that committee's work, the Government has directed funding of $33.4 million over four years to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, plus another $2.3 million over four years to schools delivering NCEA to ensure the better working of the system."

Mr Dunne also welcomed new initiatives pushed successfully by the party in the field of Treaty of Waitangi settlements.

"The Office of Treaty Settlements will get another claims development team at a cost of $895,000 annually to help speed up the process and the Waitangi Tribunal is to get another $2 million over 5 years to ensure all claims are settled under the new casebook method.

"These are small but vital moves to help New Zealand make good progress on Treaty issues, which all New Zealanders would like to see resolved expeditiously and fairly," said Mr Dunne.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

 
 

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>

ALSO:

Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election