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Peter Dunne: Tight, responsible Budget for tough times


Hon Peter Dunne
MP for Ohariu
Leader of UnitedFuture
Thursday 19 May 2011

Peter Dunne: Tight, responsible Budget for tough times

Budget 2011 shows a Government that realises what families have known for a long time: you have to live within your means, United Future leader and Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said today.

“This is a very responsible Budget for tough times, and I believe New Zealanders will recognise that.

“There is a maturity in the electorate where people are very realistic about their household economies, and they expect the Government to be the same with our national economy,” Mr Dunne said.

He said the Budget was not the kind Labour would have “irresponsibly delivered, with a more spending, more tax, money tree approach, but neither is it a Don Brash cut and slash Budget”.

“It’s tight, but it is not brutal,” he said.

Mr Dunne said a sign of economic maturity was the fact that the Budget contained no election bribes.

“When could you last say that about an election year Budget?”

Mr Dunne, the Ohariu MP, said he was particularly pleased with the $88.4 million, eight-year funding package for Wellington’s rail services.

“I have constantly pushed for a better rail and transport deal for Wellington commuters, and this is a substantial commitment.”

He said UnitedFuture would have liked to have seen compulsory KiwiSaver to help bed in New Zealand’s future retirement needs, and Income Sharing to give families more choice and more money to help them raise their children.

“This Budget could also have made progress on a number of initiatives that would not only improve the quality of life for a great many New Zealanders, but help reduce the fiscal black holes that are health, education and social welfare spending.

These would include extending parental leave to 13 months, a free annual health check to get conditions and illnesses early, and revolutionising the student loan / allowance system to have course fees and costs paid for by the state and students being able to borrow for living costs only – up to today’s maximum of $170 per week.

“We need to start rethinking some of the ways we do things, and take a longer term view.

“By not promising the world, or spending like there is no tomorrow, Budget 2011 gives us that opportunity,” Mr Dunne said.

ENDS

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