This week the Government needs to actually start delivering something in its year of delivery in its so-called ‘Wellbeing Budget’, National’s Finance spokeswoman Amy Adams says.
“This Government has become synonymous with over promising and under delivering and New Zealand will expect to see the Government put its money where its mouth is.
“Elective surgeries will fall by 10,000 this year. The number of adults who aren’t seeing their doctor because of the price has increased by 38,000. Healthcare is the very definition of wellbeing – I’m calling on Health Minister David Clark to halt the decline in these core services to improve the lives of New Zealanders.
“Teachers will take the streets in protest the day before the Budget. This will cause huge disruptions to parents and students. Any day out of the classroom is bad for a child’s development and wellbeing.
“Education Minister Chris Hipkins has already told teachers they can expect to be disappointed. But he’s likely to push ahead with prioritizing his unpopular tertiary reforms over resolving teacher’s pay claims.
“This Government has cancelled all planned major roading projects and failed to start any new ones. It’s added on the regional fuel tax so it’s now more difficult and more expensive to get around. Ultimately that will result in higher food prices as costs are passed on.
“Rents are up an average of $50 a week because of poor policy decisions, electricity increases are on the way. Less money in families budgets does little to help wellbeing.
“Police Minister Stuart Nash is going to need at least $216 million to deliver on his promise of more Police. That’s just to deliver on an old promise, without any other initiatives to keep New Zealanders safe. National revealed today that serious crime has increased by 25 per cent since the election. We consider keeping communities safe a core part of wellbeing.
“This Government can’t be trusted with the economy. It’s blown billions of dollars on fees-free tertiary education, Shane Jones’ slush fund and KiwiBuild. It’s wasting so much money it’s had to drop its self-imposed debt target and increase the spending limit by $17 billion so it can fund its bad spending decisions.
“The reality is that under this Government there are fewer jobs, more people on a benefit and needing hardship assistance, huge increases in the numbers of people without housing, more people are missing out on elective surgeries and there is more strike action than we’ve seen in decades.
“National believes wellbeing is having a job, a place to live, being able to pay your bills, world leading health and education, having freedom and choice, being safe and loved and protecting our environment. This is what needs to be delivered on Thursday, not more tax and spend, borrow and hope.”