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


Budget offers help for today, but not for future

Budget offers help for today, but not for the future

It's five years late, doesn't go far enough and discriminates against children on the basis of their parents' income - but the Green Party is welcoming the Government's Future Direction Budget package as the biggest helping hand for children and struggling families in recent history.

"This is the budget initiative that families have been waiting on since 1991, when National's benefit-bashing condemned a generation to poverty," said Green Co-leader, Rod Donald. "Not everyone wins, but no one will be worse off and most of those on the lowest rungs will get quite substantial gains.

"The biggest disappointment of this Budget is its failure to invest more in a sustainable future. The Government has only made a token gesture towards encouraging energy security, needs to invest far more in public transport and persists in its potentially disastrous environmental policy.

"In spite of our support for the Future Directions package, we will still move a no confidence motion in this Government because of its fixation with allowing the release of GE crops in New Zealand."

"Any package that delivers an extra billion dollars (by 2007) for low-income families deserves our praise," agreed Sue Bradford, the Green Social issues spokesperson. "What we can't support is the time it will take this money to reach families and the way in which it discriminates against the children of beneficiaries.

"It is unacceptable that children of parents on welfare will continue to get less assistance than the children of parents in employment. A return to a Universal Child Benefit, as advocated by the Greens, would mean that all children are treated the same, regardless of their parents' work status."

Green Tertiary Education spokesperson, Nandor Tanczos, congratulated the Government for raising the parental income threshold but expressed his disappointment at the measure's inadequacy for dealing with the $7 billion mountain of student debt. "Instead of biting the bullet and introducing a Universal Student Benefit, they've just tinkered with the system. As for the accommodation allowance for young married students, does the Government expect them to get divorced and go back to their parents' place?" Green Co-leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons said the Budget had moved to fix some of the inequities of the past in regard to children, but failed to grasp the opportunity to create the kind of healthy, sustainable society where they could grow up.

"Today's children would reap the benefit of meaningful investment now in our rail network," said Ms Fitzsimons. "Likewise, at a time when DOC is struggling to fund its Ark programme for particularly threatened habitats, total biodiversity funding has actually been reduced. If our children are to have a secure future at reasonable cost, we need to invest in now in solar and energy efficiency, yet the sums provided in the Budget are pitiful.

"Today, families got the support they'd been denied for a decade. What they didn't get was a sustainable future."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election