Your top concerns about the Budget


“I am deeply disappointed in the National Party's budget. Their broken promises and cuts to essential services, including health, education, and support for vulnerable groups, will have long-lasting negative impacts” – Raymor, Auckland

Around the country, Labour MPs have been out meeting with communities to discuss the impact of National’s first Budget. People have shared concerns about cuts to public services – from public housing to universal free prescriptions, half-price public transport to climate action. Here are some of the key issues you’d like to see addressed.

Cost of living and inequality on the rise

“The cuts made will ensure that people's lives are so much worse. In the Far North, the poor were promised “huge tax relief” which - with cuts to prescriptions and increases on rates and petrol - will make them even poorer” – Catherine, Kerikeri

“It shows the government does not have a deep understanding of the range of people they are responsible for. The poor are hugely at risk. I am concerned about homelessness. I am concerned about the cost of renting” – Del, New Plymouth

People are struggling to meet their basic needs and can see that those around them are too. They are concerned National has no plan to lower the cost of living, with rents and unemployment expected to rise, and with thousands losing their jobs and income as a direct result of the National Government’s choices. Those on the lowest incomes will benefit the least from this Budget, with thousands being left worse off and child poverty projected to increase.

“I'd rather the money went to prescriptions, kids’ lunches or health. Anything but pointless token tax cuts that we pay for” – Tony, Wairarapa

Meanwhile, more evidence has come to light showing that the National Government knew how harmful cutting funding for the Ka Ora, Ka Ako healthy school lunch programme would be – and chose to whittle it down anyway. Some have been forced to turn healthy, hot meals into a pre-packaged snack. Concerns have also been raised about communities losing local jobs due to the programme being pared back, some of which are done by parents. With unemployment set to rise, this could be a double whammy for household budgets during a cost-of-living crisis.

Healthcare becoming less accessible

“My wife and I were hoping the National, Conservative Government with come through with the promised funding of cancer drugs. She has a malignancy which is only just controlled by us forking out $11,000 a month. This is monstrous and will eventually cripple us. Her life is worth vastly more than that” – Geoffrey, Christchurch

The state of our health system has left people worried for the health of their families and loved ones. There is also a critical lack of funding for mental health services, which was not a priority in the Budget.

National promised to fund new cancer treatments and then chose not to – a move described by many as “cruel”. Patients have been forced to spend thousands each month to pay for their own treatments out of pocket. It’s time for the National Government to fulfil its promise to those who are most in need.

“Are prosperous landlords more worthy than people suffering from cancer?” – Murray, Alexandra

Labour MPs have been continuing to advocate around the country for meaningful investment in health services, buildings and staffing, so New Zealanders get the levels of healthcare they need.

Going backwards on housing

“It’s terrible, my daughter is trying to save to buy a home, so she now won't get the First Home Buyer Grant. Christopher Luxon said that it is only $5000, as if that is peanuts, but to normal people that is a lot of money. For my daughter more than another year of saving. The tax cuts won't  make up for that” – Sandra, Timaru

National’s abrupt axing of the First Home Grant has left many in the lurch, with some having to save for months longer than planned to make up for it. National also cut more than $1.5 billion of support for public housing, including Māori housing development and youth transitional housing. Meanwhile, National has gifted $2.9 billion to landlords through changes to interest deductibility.

“The housing crisis affects so many, leaving people like us uncertain about our future” – Rosa, Wellington

There’s now $1.5 billion less for building and maintaining public houses, which will slow the progress we’ve made as a country to fix the housing crisis. The Government has cut $435 million from the Kāinga Ora house build programme and over $1 billion from the maintenance fund. They’ve also scrapped parts of the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme, which will lead to pressure on household bills as well as the health system. In Government, Labour helped retrofit more than 120,000 homes to make sure they were warmer, drier and more energy efficient. It means fewer people get sick and costs of heating come down.

Cuts to climate action

“Very, very disappointed in what National has done since coming into power. Destructive moves for our environment and failing to provide appropriate protection for us as individuals in view of climate change” – Heather, Dunedin

People have been shocked to see action and research on climate change slashed, which leaves us all vulnerable. The Climate Emergency Response Fund has been cut back, with nothing to replace it. Hundreds of people are set to lose their jobs at the Ministry for the Environment, which leads work on reducing New Zealand’s emissions, adapting to a changing climate, dealing with waste, and resource management policy.

“I think it's going to take our country back so many years, it just doesn't seem to care for our people or our environment” – Bronwyn, Northland

Meanwhile, thousands of people have written and marched to oppose National’s incredibly unpopular Fast Track legislation, which could put our native species and their habitats at risk. Around the country, communities are worried about how damaging this reckless legislation will be for our precious environment and future generations.

Funding for Māori slashed

“The Budget 2024 ignored the wellbeing of Māori, put profit over people” – Annie, Lower Hutt

We’ve heard strong concerns that Māori have been ignored in the Budget and will be disproportionately impacted by the Government’s reckless decisions. Māori Development has received zero funding for core services along with no new initiatives for Māori communities.

“My biggest concern is the future for my mokopuna regarding climate change and, as they are Māori I fear for the loss of their language, te reo Māori” – Adair, Masterton

Alongside the Government winding back Te Reo Māori initiatives and their removal of Te Aka Whai Ora, the Māori Health Authority, they’ve also slashed support for Māori housing development and halved funding for Matariki celebrations.

Labour will continue listening to what matters most to New Zealanders and holding the Government to account for the reckless decisions they’ve made in Budget 24.

You can share how the Budget affects your community here.

Watch: Everything Wrong with the Budget in under 60 seconds