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The Budget; a missed opportunity to make NZ a more equal place

Today’s Budget, the ninth this Government has prepared does not make our country a more equal society.

“A successful budget moves New Zealand towards being a more equal society – it is an opportunity to make New Zealand a better place,” said CTU President Richard Wagstaff.

“This Budget lacks ambition, it lacks leadership and most importantly it lacks a vision and commitment to making life better for all Kiwis.”

“It restored only a little more than half the value of Working for Families that has been stripped from it by National Governments since 2010. People will pay for the tax cuts in deteriorating public services, while people on higher incomes get more in dollar terms than those who most need it. We estimate the Health budget is $300 million short of the funding it needs to cover rising costs, strong population growth, the aging population and the new commitments the Government has made.”

“There is no new investment in building houses. There were misleading announcements of new capital spending which are just moving land from one part of government to another.”

“Most schools’ operational grants will be worse off in real terms, with the increase in their operations grants less than the rising costs Treasury forecasts.”

“This Budget could have done so much. This should have been the Budget that restored the value of Working for Families, took our health system off life support, rebuilt and refurbished our state housing and ensured first home buyers could find affordable homes, allocated funding to settle significant equal pay claims, plugged the gaps in education funding, addressed poverty, showed ambition in research and development funding, restarted contributions to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and much more,” Wagstaff said.

View the full CTU Report on Budget 2017 here.