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Don Brash asks: what did NZ get for the $34b?

Don Brash asks: what did NZ get for the $34 billion?

National Party leader Don Brash has launched a stinging attack on the culture of big government fostered by the Labour-led Government.

In a hard-hitting speech in Wellington tonight, Dr Brash said that in spite of Labour taking an additional $34 billion in tax revenues since 1999, “there has been no decisive lift in the quality of public services in New Zealand”.

“The benefits of that flood of revenue have not been remotely proportionate to the amount of cash taken from taxpayers. Those tax revenues have built a Wellington-based bureaucracy.

“Not enough is getting through to the essential frontline services of health, education and law enforcement.

“While the Government has thrown money at some extraordinarily foolish programmes, working families have had to struggle on with a rising tax burden. All they have is the promise of drip-fed family support building up over the next few years, benefiting just one family in five.

“The last Budget was like a compensation scheme for previous ill-treatment of taxpayers. Violent criminals are getting better compensation packages than hardworking Kiwis.”

Dr Brash also attacked the growth of bureaucracy in the education and health sectors, describing the flagship early childhood education policy, which is loaded in favour of non-profit providers, as “senselessly mean-spirited”, and “left-wing ideology at its most odious”.

“Labour doesn’t trust parents, but it does trust the Wellington bureaucracy.

“National stands for allowing people choice, not telling them what to do, or how to live. We stand for decentralising decision-making to the local level, not centralising decisions to Wellington.

“Every dollar spent by government is taken from taxpayers. I believe governments should budget and spend taxpayers’ money as carefully as hardworking families have to do every week,” said Dr Brash.

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