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Wellbeing Budget is a thin veil for classic Labour spend-up

The Government’s ‘wellbeing’ focus is just an excuse for billions of dollars of poorly-targeted spending, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says “The Government has spent a year trumpeting its new ‘wellbeing’ focus, but in reality there is very little difference between Budget 2019 and any other Labour Budget. It may as well be Helen Clark and Michael Cullen presenting this rail-humping Budget to Parliament this afternoon.”

“Grant Robertson has followed in the footsteps of Michael Cullen and chosen to waste taxpayers’ money on KiwiRail – the equivalent of lighting $1 billion on fire. More funding for Whanau Ora acts to appease the Labour Maori Caucus. $535 million to fund tinkering with the welfare system – including funding the removal of benefit sanctions – is just a retreat into the welfare-for-everyone mindset of the Clark Government.”

“While the Government has focused on the $823 million for mental health, it would be extremely charitable to treat that as the headline spending item – the Government is spending nearly three times as much on trains as mental wellbeing, once you take into account regional rail and the Auckland City Rail Link. The billion dollars for KiwiRail alone is equivalent to $641 per Kiwi household”

“Political analysts have spent a year trying work out what ‘wellbeing’ means. Today we have the answer – ‘wellbeing’ is simply a political communications strategy for a Government with very few new ideas."

"Unfortunately for taxpayers, we now know Treasury's 'wellbeing framework' is the emperor with clothes.”

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