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Budget 2011 A Missed Opportunity - Hon John Boscawen

Budget 2011 A Missed Opportunity - Hon John Boscawen

Budget 2011 should have been about comprehensive change to turn New Zealand's economy around, take control of our debt track and fix long-standing social problems; instead it was a missed opportunity ACT New Zealand Parliamentary Leader Hon John Boscawen said today.

"New Zealand was once the most prosperous country in the world yet we have been declining since 1960 are now ranked just 26th in the OECD. National should have taken the opportunity to make bold changes and get our country back on track," Mr Boscawen said.

"18 years ago the founders of the ACT Party said that New Zealand needed structural change, not tinkering around the edges. After 18 years of Governments - both National and Labour - tinkering around the edges we see the result; soaring debt, ineffective social services and an economy that continues to fall behind the rest of the world.

"Instead of making the bold changes that New Zealand needs, National has delivered little more than a commitment to make timid reductions in programmes introduced by the last Labour Government.

"Cutting programmes which recipients have come to enjoy would have required real political courage, something the National Government - like Labour before it - clearly lacks. Someday soon people will realise that the 'goodies' which Government is handing out are charged back to our children and grandchildren.

"The Budget presented an opportunity to thoroughly review interest-free student loans. Not only is the scheme costly it is also offensive that struggling families in Otara and Porirua are forced to pay for families from Takapuna and Khandallah to send their children to University to become lawyers and accountants.

"Similarly National should have shown real courage in Budget 2011 and committed to raising the retirement age amidst the soaring number of over-65s. Australian Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard has promised to raise the age, it is time for our Prime Minister to accept reality and do the same.

"ACT will be going out on the hustings and telling New Zealand the truth; that we need to stop tinkering, that we need to make bold and comprehensive changes and most importantly that if we don't make these changes now we are merely passing the buck to our next generation," Mr Boscawen said.

ENDS


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