We're focused on the issues that matter to Kiwis. Catch up on the latest in politics with our Week in Review below.
→ Budget 2021 – Labour’s focus reinforces failure to deliver
→ Benefits aren’t a pathway to prosperity <[link removed]>
→ Labour cuts Police Budget as gang membership soars <[link removed]>
→ Govt’s water reforms raise concerns in Auckland <[link removed]>
→ Auditor General issues stark warning on vaccine roll out <[link removed]>
Budget 2021 – Labour’s focus reinforces failure to deliver
Labour Broken Compass Budget delivers nothing for middle New Zealand, nothing for our senior citizens (except scrapping free annual GP and eye check visits), it lacks the plan and ambition to grow our economy and confirms Labour’s absolute failure to deliver on its promises.
Through a naïve and reckless regard for how its policies affect every-day Kiwis, Labour has only delivered two things for you: they’ve made it harder for you to get ahead, and they’ve made you more dependent on the Government.
Let’s be clear. It’s important to support the most vulnerable in our society. It’s the right thing to do. But don’t call yourselves ‘transformational’ when you have made the problems for everyday New Zealanders worse.
House prices are higher, so are rents, energy costs, emissions, violent crime, the state house waiting list, and child poverty. The lives of low- and middle-income Kiwis are getting tougher, not easier.
A National Government would back businesses to create jobs, invest in innovation, support our farmers, help Kiwis keep more of what they earn, not less, and get on and build some actual houses.
Michael Woodhouse, our Finance Spokesperson, gave a great recap of the Budget. You can watch it here <[link removed]>.
You can also read more from Judith Collins here <[link removed]>, her Budget 2021 speech here <[link removed]>, and a recap on Labour’s 10 Budget Broken Promises here <[link removed]>.
Benefits aren’t a pathway to prosperity
Budget 2021 showed little aspiration for the almost 200,000 New Zealanders without a job. More than 70,000 people have moved onto the Jobseeker benefit since 2017 and more New Zealanders need assistance because of the economic conditions made worse by the Labour Government.
These New Zealanders may benefit from the short-term relief of increased benefits, but they need a pathway to long-term prosperity and financial independence. Having a job is the best route out of hardship and will provide the greatest lift to household income.
While Labour provided an extra $3.3 billion for benefit increases, budget documents reveal in 2020/21 an underspend of almost $100 million in funding dedicated to employment support. The number of benefit recipients receiving direct employment case management has also halved compared to 2017.
National doesn’t want Kiwis to just exist on a benefit. We want them to have jobs, to prosper and to have a future.
You can read more from Louise Upston here <[link removed]>.
Labour cuts Police Budget as gang membership soars
The Government has cut the Police Budget by approximately $90 million despite record growth in gang membership. Worse still, the Budget has nothing else in it for law and order even though Kiwis are expressing feeling much less safe in their communities and gun crime is on the rise.
Gang membership has increased 50 per cent to a new record of 8003 gang members nationally, serious assaults have doubled in the past three years, and there has been significant increases in Police call outs for family harm incidents and mental health.
The Government’s much heralded ‘1800 new police over three years’ programme is also on the Labour Party scrap heap of broken promises with Police Training College remaining empty for most of this year so far.
The Government is exposing just how out of touch they are with the New Zealand public in light of a recently published Research NZ crime and safety survey in which nearly half of the respondents said that gang presence is to blame for them feeling unsafe.
As our leader Judith Collins says, ‘National does not make friends with gang members’. National are the Party of law and order and Labour’s neglect of Police in the budget is atrocious.
You can read more from Simeon Brown here <[link removed]>.
Govt’s water reforms raise concerns in Auckland
In a letter to the Prime Minister and other Ministers, Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff has expressed serious concerns over the proposed three waters service delivery reforms.
Mayor Goff has raised concerns over governance, accountability and cost and we are in complete agreement with him. He also expresses strong doubts that amalgamation will be beneficial for Auckland. He highlights that water costs are higher in the regions and so a merge would effectively drive prices higher for Aucklanders.
Issues of democracy and accountability are also factor as major concerns for the Mayor in that diluting the influence of elected representatives with a large number who are unelected is risky and not likely to produce efficient outcomes.
Mr Goff concludes his correspondence with the Government by saying “the current structure proposed is unlikely to find favour with Auckland and its Council.”
Our Leader Judith Collins suggested it is unlikely to find favour with New Zealand.
You can read more from Judith Collins here <[link removed]>.
Auditor General’s stark warning on vaccine roll out
The Auditor-General’s audit of the government’s vaccine roll-out presents a very worrying picture of a lack of progress and significant concerns about whether it will achieve its goals at all.
This backs up what National has been saying since the beginning of the year. This vaccine roll-out has been slow by international standards, has lacked transparency and direction, faces significant workforce challenges, and does not have IT systems in place.
While National has relentlessly advocated for better ways to approach the roll-out, the Government has consistently gas-lit New Zealanders with pretend graphs, revisionism of previous statements, and attempts to hide a shoddy plan at best.
The COVID-19 vaccine roll-out is one of the most important things the Government will do this year, possibly this decade. We must get it right. This cannot be yet another thing this Government has announced but fails to deliver on.
It is important the government takes on board the six sensible recommendations made by the Auditor-General.
You can read more from Chris Bishop here <[link removed]>.
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