National to cut $3.8 billion from health, education and environment spending

Findings in an independent analysis of the Government's books, commissioned by the Green Party, reveal National is planning multi-billion dollar cuts to health, education, and environment spending over the next three years.

Findings in an independent analysis of the Government's books, commissioned by the Green Party, reveal National is planning multi-billion dollar cuts to health, education, and environment spending over the next three years.

The analysis, prepared by Ganesh Nana of independent economic consultancy BERL, shows that National is stripping funding, in real terms, to the health, education and environment sectors to the tune of at least $3.837 billion over the next three years.

In Government, the Green Party will maintain real levels of funding in health, education and the environment to protect against inflation and ensure vital services are not gutted.

"National's election promises are being underwritten by major cuts to health, education and environment spending," said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

"National is being tricky with the books. This is a deliberate deception so National can claim a budget surplus when the reality is that hospitals will be under even greater pressure to cut services while every child in education will be worse off.

"At the time of the Budget in May, National brushed off criticism of these cuts saying they weren't true. That was spin. National's cuts to health, education and environment spending are real and damaging.

"National is attacking the elderly, the young and our environment with these funding cuts.

"BERL's analysis shows National will cut health spending by 4.5 percent in real terms over the next three years. The cuts are actually 9.8 percent when you apply real health sector price increases.

"Education cuts amount to 1.7 percent over the next three years in total but are far more significant on a per pupil basis.

"In early childhood education (ECE) the cuts per child are 4.6 percent, 3 percent for primary children and 1.1 percent for secondary students.

"Environmental protection is cut by a massive 13.9 percent, leaving our environment vulnerable to further degradation," said Dr Norman.

"In Government, the Green Party will maintain real levels of funding in health, education and the environment to protect against inflation and ensure vital services are not gutted.

"We will allocate $3.837 billion to health, education and the environment to protect these essential services for New Zealanders.

"The Green Party will reverse National's cuts to our important services. Funding for our hospitals and schools and environmental protection will be maintained and inflation adjusted under the Greens.

"The Greens will use National's provision for new spending to invest back into health, education and the environment to maintain real funding levels.

"Our plan to protect core Government spending is more than covered by existing budget provisions for new spending going forward and is affordable within budget parameters.

"Voters need to be crystal clear that a vote for National is a vote for spending cuts on health, education and our environment.

"Voters have a choice this election, re-elect National for big cuts to health and education, or protect the funding of our essential public services by voting Green."

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