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June 5, 2018 | by  | in Politics |
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The Party Line

In your opinion, what is one strength and one weakness of the 2018 Budget?

Budget 2018 proved that the Ardern-Peters Government is all talk and no action. The Labour party had racked up an endless list of promises throughout the election and this Budget showed New Zealanders that the money to fund them simply isn’t there. The biggest disappointment was undoubtedly the lack of investment in mental health. The last National Government committed $100 million dollars to fund 17 new initiatives throughout the country. Labour however has set aside a measly $10.5 million to establish an enquiry. The bare minimum they were required to do under their confidence and supply agreement. Letting down everyone from farmers to students in the process. However the Young Nats are thankful that the Budget managed to be printed at all after the company that prints the Budget went on strike the day before.
– Grahame Woods

Greens at Vic

Budget 2018 merely tinkers with our fundamentally broken economy. Some small initiatives are positive steps forward, such as $90 million over four years allocated to tackling family and sexual violence. Others are setbacks: increased funding for law and order, with capital expenditure allocated to Corrections increasing by over a third, and the police being funded for 1,800 new officers.
It is crucial however to concentrate on the bigger picture with the Budget, and to focus on the overall vision for society being presented, rather than paying too much attention to individual details — missing the forest through the trees.
This Budget demonstrates that the Government are not interested in the structural change Aotearoa so desperately needs. Inequality is ruining people’s lives. Carbon emissions pose an existential threat to the future of our planet. Both of these crises stem from neoliberal policies — low government spending; low taxes on the rich; a lack of economic intervention. The Budget does not tax the rich, while it does meet targets on expenditure and debt reduction which result in spending being even less than under National. Labour are continuing the philosophy that a small government is best, while wages are low, children are going hungry, housing unaffordability is putting so many people under stress, the climate continues to be polluted, and the wealthy continue to profit from our rigged economy. This Budget is a disgrace.

-Elliot Crossan


The biggest strength of this Budget is that it revitalizes our public service in the two areas which needed it most — education and health.
The early childhood sector desperately needed extra funding during the last government. With this Budget, the Government is responding with a universal increase in funding that will benefit 200,000 children. As more schools are suffering from over-packed classrooms, this Budget ensures that more classrooms are built. There will be 1500 more teachers employed to teach the kids, meaning they will get the attention they need.

And health (completely forgotten by old man Coleman) now gets some much needed money and attention. Hospitals are going to be fixed and midwives are getting a pay increase. This Government is also taking the mental health of young people seriously, with funding for youth services and putting nurses in more schools.
One weakness: Budget 2018 leaves New Zealand better off than it was a year ago, but we could have spent more to tackle our biggest issues. We’re looking forward to seeing that happen in Grant’s second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth budgets. Having laid the foundations, we’re excited to see what the Government does next.

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