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Over the last six years, National has cut $1.7 billion from our health system in real terms. As costs have increased, funding for our health services just hasn’t kept up.

And after cost pressures – like population growth, ageing and inflation – are taken into account, yesterday’s Budget announcements in health only continue the cuts to our health services.

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Andrew Little and Grant Robertson discuss Budget 2016

Middle New Zealand has again missed out in this year's Budget with not a single fix for the housing crisis, and health and education again woefully underfunded.

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The Budget in black and white

In three days’ time Bill English’s tie will make the news. In three days' time it's Budget Day. In media circles the Finance Minister’s tie traditionally plays a bellwether role, its colour and pattern seen as an indicator of what the Budget will contain.

That being the case then this year’s should be black and white because anything in between won’t cut it. There’s some really important issues the Government’s 8th Budget needs to address.  

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Andrew Little's pre-Budget speech 2016

Thanks so much for coming along today, and for giving up some of your weekend.

Today, I want to talk about the type of Budget that New Zealand needs to see this coming Thursday.

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Go ask WINZ

"All I can say to people if somebody is homeless they should go see Winz."

- John Key on what desperate families living in cars should do.

Here's 5 reasons why going to WINZ won’t necessarily help if you’re homeless:

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Budget 2016 - who's it for?

Amidst the deluge of data, accounting tricks and astronomical sounding numbers that you will see in the Budget next week, there is one critical thing to look for - people.  

Ultimately a Budget is about a government's priorities and where they lie when it comes to spending the money they are charged with looking after on our behalf. The question to ask is who this Budget will be for?  

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The Whipping Post

The House has been sitting this week, so without further ado, here's a look at what's been happening in the political world.

Health hath fury

The reality of the Government’s underfunding of health was outlined at a summit convened by Andrew Little, Annette King and Grant Robertson on Monday. Speakers included Warren Lindberg from the Public Health Association, Julie Haggie from the Home and Community Health Association, Jenn Lawless from the NZ nurses organisation and Platform’s Marion Blake.  

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The Whipping Post

It's a sitting week, so without further ado, here's the week in retrospect:

Fired up

There were whoops of delight as Andrew Little’s Healthy Homes Bill passed its first reading on Wednesday night. The bill makes it compulsory for all rentals to have efficient insulation, heating and ventilation. As expected National and Act voted against it, siding with those landlords who care more about bottom lines than tenants’ health, rather than the tens of thousands of kids who are ending up in hospital because of cold, damp living conditions. 

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Questions from Iraq

I have just returned from a visit to Camp Taji in Iraq to meet with the New Zealand troops and see for myself the situation they are dealing with.

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Healthy homes for all

Remember Emma-Lita Bourne? She died last year from causes the Coroner attributed to the appallingly “unhealthy” state house rented by her family.

Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills says the effects of cold, mouldy and damp housing on kids contributes to 42,000 hospital admissions and 15 deaths each year.

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