National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.
“Lifting benefits is important but at the peak of the economic cycle all incomes should be rising. Helping lift our most vulnerable people shouldn’t have to come at the cost of those just a couple of rungs up the ladder.
“Young savers and single parents are bearing the cost of these changes.
“By taking away the $1000 Kiwisaver kickstart and imposing additional work obligations on solo parents which will add to childcare costs, the Government is only tinkering.
“In many of our regions, there are no extra jobs for young parents.
“The Government is also panicking about housing and this budget will do little to fix the crisis. Removing the kickstart will make it harder for young families to save and get ahead.
“The Government has been a bystander for seven long years as spiralling Auckland house prices lock a generation out of the dream of homeownership. Now they’re promising just $52 million to make Auckland land available for housing. That’s only enough for 200 homes and it’s a one-off.
“National must guarantee truly affordable homes are built on this land. We will hold them to account on this. After a litany of broken promises on the surplus, jobs and income growth, after years of neglect of the regions, this has to be one promise they actually keep.
“This was supposed to be the Budget that showed New Zealand what excellent economic managers this government has been. This was the budget that would give something back to everyday Kiwis who have felt left behind by their so-called rockstar economy.
“Instead the Government is panicking after squandering seven years of opportunity. New Zealanders will be disappointed today,” Andrew Little says.