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United Future: Hard work beats hot air

United Future: Hard work beats hot air

United Future says today’s Budget is a complete vindication of the party’s 2002 decision to enter into a confidence and supply agreement with the Labour-led Government and thereby to become a party of influence in the government of New Zealand.

Leader Peter Dunne said “As the party that has consistently driven the family to the forefront of policy-making in New Zealand, we are delighted to see that working lower and middle-income families with dependent children are finally getting significant income support from the Government.

“Though we would prefer that those families retain more of their own money through tax cuts, rather than being made State beneficiaries, we still applaud the fact that they are getting some real relief from the daily costs of living.”

Mr Dunne said the party was delighted with other initiatives in the Budget that United Future has been lobbying for.

“Some examples;

* Increased mental health funding - $250 million extra over the next four years

* More money for restorative justice initiatives - $4.4 million over four years

* Increased funding for victim support – another $1.5 million

* The extension of the social workers in schools programme – another $230,000 over the next two years

* Increased funding to fight the methamphetamine scourge – a further $39 million over the next four years

* More money for schools operations grants – another $66 million over the next four years

* Greater encouragement for homeowners to take up solar energy in their homes – EECA funding will double to $400,000 to encourage more solar water heating.

“Naturally, United Future does not take full credit for all these initiatives, but they are good examples of the sorts of practical, commonsense programmes we have been actively working on ever since the voters put us in Parliament and they demonstrate the benefits of being a party of stability and influence.

“It’s all very well for other parties to huff and puff from the political sideline, but it’s much more effective to be able to pack down in the scrum if you want to achieve change for the betterment of New Zealand,” said Mr Dunne.

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