The Government’s visionless budget has failed to deliver the big solutions to the housing crisis and climate change New Zealanders want and instead is plastering over the cracks, says the Green Party.
“This do nothing budget will leave a legacy of more poisoned rivers, more extinct wildlife, and a nation divided into those who own a home already, and those left further behind,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“National has been blindsided on housing. The Budget doesn’t respond at all to the outpouring of concern in recent weeks over New Zealanders living in cars and garages.
“This Budget doesn’t deliver a single new state house or a single new initiative to assist first home buyers. It shows that National had no plans to fix housing when the budget was written, it was just planning to plaster over the existing cracks.
“This Budget was a massive wasted opportunity. With the books in better shape now is the time to be investing in creating the better, cleaner fairer country that New Zealanders want.
“Sadly, once again National has chosen to do as little as it can get away with, rather than all that it can.
“National has effectively cut funding to schools putting the pressure on parents to come up with the shortfall, and has cut funding to the Department of Conservation even further, putting more of our wildlife at risk.
“The Budget is bad for our environment. There is nothing significant in this budget that will cut pollution.
“Climate change is hitting the books already. Over $2.5 million was spent last year on adverse climate events, but there is nothing in the Budget to turn our emissions around so we don’t have to spend a fortune in the future combating climate change.
“There is no way New Zealand will meet our Paris climate pollution target under these settings.
“The Green Party has a vision for cleaner, fairer and stronger economy. This Budget shows the National Government doesn’t,” said Mr Shaw.