26 May 2016

Opposition parties attack Budget 2016

5:26 pm on 26 May 2016

The budget has failed New Zealanders and does nothing to address the issues Kiwis are facing, opposition parties say.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little responds after the government delivers Budget 2016.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little responds after the government delivers Budget 2016. Photo: RNZ/Elliott Childs

Finance Minister Bill English delivered his eighth budget this afternoon, which focused on housing in Auckland, social investment and infrastructure.

However, Labour Party leader Andrew Little said the budget failed to deliver for middle New Zealand.

And other opposition parties were also critical of it, with the Greens saying it is based on what polled well, rather than fixing problems.

New Zealand First describing it as a "get stuffed" budget.

Mr Little said: "Today will be a day of deep disappointment for most New Zealanders. They won't get their fair share.

"This budget won't reduce child poverty, it won't lift employment, it won't fix Auckland's housing crisis, it won't help our kids learn better and it won't undo the savage health cuts that this National government has inflicted on our health system," he said.

In the Budget the government earmarked $300 million to ease pressure on the Auckland housing market, both to purchase Crown land and to provide more social housing.

More on the Budget:

But Labour leader Mr Little said this does not solve one of the biggest social crises New Zealand has faced.

"This is a government that has sold 2700 state houses and hasn't replaced a single one. And they wonder why we have people now living in garages, in cars in Auckland and around the countryside.

"They have failed and they cannot see their failure and they will not face up to it.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little responds receives a standing ovation after responding to Budget 2016.

Labour leader Andrew Little gets a standing ovation from his colleagues. Photo: RNZ/Chris Bramwell

"None of the measures in this budget will lift home ownership rates in New Zealand. Those struggling people in Auckland who, no matter how hard they work, how hard they save, they cannot get that deposit and they will not get their first home," Mr Little said.

'Political equivalent of Milli Vanilli' - Greens

The Green Party said the government has put together a budget "based on what polls well rather than fixing problems".

Its co-leader James Shaw said this budget pretended to fix a lot of problems.

"This government is the political equivalent of Milli Vanilli - lip-synching when they should be leading. This budget does not solve the housing crisis. It pretends to."

Green Party co-leader James Shaw speaking after Budget 2016.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw speaking after Budget 2016. Photo: RNZ/Elliott Childs

The budget also failed to create clean, sustainable jobs, or protect New Zealand rivers and wildlife, Mr Shaw said.

"This budget shows just how much this government's first and only true commitment is to stay in power; their only vision for New Zealand is that it remains governed by the National Party," he said.

The 'get stuffed' budget - NZ First

New Zealand First said there was no other way to describe it, other than a "get stuffed" budget.

Its leader Winston Peters said the budget lacked vision, strategy and blueprint for the future development of the New Zealand economy.

"To those wanting a home that they can afford to both buy and keep [and] to those in pain, desperately needing an operation, this budget says 'get stuffed'.

Winston Peters on the bridge at Parliament.

NZ First leader Winston Peters. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

"To those wanting a job with first world wages and security [and] to those wanting education, affordable and world class and paid for by the state this budget says 'get stuffed'," he said.

Nothing in the budget delivered sustainable prosperity, a full range of public services, and it did not stop the sale of New Zealand land, housing and businesses into foreign ownership, Mr Peters said.

Budget 2016: Read RNZ's full coverage here.

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