Budget 2018 looks set to be the Budget of Broken Promises, with the Government not only downsizing its promise of 1800 extra cops to 1100, but it’s also looking to phase the promise in over five years instead of three, National’s Police Spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“Police Minister Stuart Nash has applied a three-pronged approach to breaking the Government’s promise of adding 1800 sworn frontline police officers over three years.
“First, he downsized the number to 1100 additional sworn frontline police and confirmed that National’s 880 extra sworn frontline police would be included in that number – effectively making it only an additional 220 under this Government.
“Second, he redefined the meaning of ‘frontline’ police. Most New Zealanders would consider frontline cops to be the ones that patrol the streets and turn up to your house when you’ve been robbed.
“But Mr Nash is now including back office staff, like forensic accountants, in his definition of ‘frontline’. These are very important roles and we need them, but I don’t think anyone is going to call for the local forensic accountant to attend their house after it’s been robbed.
“And last, but not least, it now appears that Mr Nash is looking at phasing the ‘promise’ in over five years instead of the previously stated three years.
“Mr Nash has received a paper titled ‘Alternative Five Year Phasing Options for 1800 New Police’, which might as well be titled ‘Options for Breaking Promise of 1800 New Police Over Three Years’.
“So not only is the Government adding fewer cops than it said it would, it is going to take longer to bring them in.
“It is worrying that it’s become the norm for this Government to break its promises. Worse than that, it is breaking the trust of the people who voted for them.”