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Budget pinches pennies from paper boys but fails growth test

David Shearer
Labour Leader

25 May 2012

Budget pinches pennies from paper boys but fails the growth test

Bill English’s budget pinches pennies from paper boys and forces parents to pay more for educating their kids yet fails to make the bold decisions needed to grow our economy and give New Zealanders the chance to get ahead, says Labour Leader David Shearer.

“We should be instilling a work ethic in our kids and encouraging them to save, not penalising them for getting part time jobs.

“This sort of tinkering around the edges, in a single-minded bid to get back into surplus, isn’t the solution. Yes, it is important to get back into black and Labour would do that too, but we also have to make the tough decisions that will help us grow our economy.

“There are some pretty big issues facing New Zealand and we need to tackle them. Ignoring them is the equivalent of wilful neglect,” David Shearer said.

“Within three years, this country will be spending more on superannuation than on all education combined – that’s pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary. If ever the time was right for a national conversation about how we’re going to pay our Superannuation bill into the future, it is now.

“We need pro-growth tax reform to shift the investment focus away from speculation on property towards our productive sector. We must help our innovative companies grow, support them with research and development, boost our exports and invest in our children’s education.

“John Key keeps telling New Zealanders the government is selling their assets to pay down debt. It’s not.

“He also keeps telling us that exports are growing under National’s economic ‘management’.

That’s not true either. In fact, the latest figures out this week show that under this government exports have dropped by 17 per cent or $800 million over the last year.

“There is nothing aspirational or ambitious in this budget. There is nothing in it that will change our growth rates. Put simply, it fails every growth test.

“It is a beige budget and it will drive more New Zealanders to the departure lounge as they head to Australia looking for a brighter future.

“A zero budget means zero hope for all those New Zealanders who are working hard but not getting ahead,” said David Shearer.

ENDS

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