Budget 2021 lacks a pathway back to prosperity

Today’s Budget lacks the plan and ambition this country needs to grow our economy and reduce the debt burden on future generations, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says.

“This Budget is confirmation of Labour’s inability to deliver. There is nothing in it for middle New Zealand.

“It is the Broken Compass Budget. Labour doesn’t have any direction for getting the country back on track to prosperity.

“This Budget lacks the aspiration we need if we’re going to grow the economy and create more jobs so we can pay down debt faster.

“With losses projected for the next five years, the quality of government spending matters now more than ever – and we’ve seen today that Labour does not have its priorities right.

“To truly ‘secure our recovery’ we need to provide businesses the confidence they need to invest, so they can employ more staff and pay good wages.

“All New Zealanders are feeling the pinch right now – not just those on jobseeker benefits and the minimum wage – so where is the plan to take the entire country back to prosperity?

“Treasury says the benefit increases announced today are needed to stave off rising poverty because of the economic conditions made worse by the Labour Government – inflation, rent and unemployment. Even with these changes, child poverty rates are set to flat-line while some conditions will get worse.

“There was little in the Budget today for New Zealanders who have seen their rents jump by $100 a week since Labour came into office.

“There was little in the Budget for New Zealanders who are seeing power prices start to increase as the impacts of the oil and gas ban take hold.

“There was little in the Budget for businesses that have been lumped with the extra costs of minimum wage hikes, an extra public holiday and compulsory unionism – on top of the sacrifices they’ve made during the pandemic.

“The Government isn’t intending to fix the Resource Management Act until 2024, which will be cold comfort to those desperate for an end this country’s housing shortage.

“A National Government would be more aspirational for New Zealanders. We don’t want Kiwis to just exist on a benefit. We want them to have jobs, to prosper and to have a future.

“National would eliminate wasteful spending, let Kiwis keep more of what they earn, and give businesses the confidence to invest, innovate and grow.”