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Budget a disappointment for Auckland

Aucklanders are the biggest losers in today’s Budget, with nothing new that will fix transport and housing problems in the city, the Green Party said today.

“National is either ignoring Auckland or they’re cynically holding back funding to offer later on as an election bribe,” said Green Party Auckland issues spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

“There is nothing in this Budget for the thousands of Aucklanders this afternoon on crowded buses and trains, sitting in gridlock, on their way home to the house that swallows up most of their income.

“The Government agreed to fund half the City Rail Link way back in September 2016. The cash in the Budget today is nothing new and it’s still only a third of the Government’s share of the cost for the City Rail Link.

“National has squandered the opportunity to enable Auckland Council to raise revenue with new funding tools for the $4 billion of projects the city desperately needs to keep up with population growth.

“It’ll still be 30 years before Auckland gets decent rail to the airport, and there’s no word today on much-needed trains to the North Shore.

“Rather than the transformative housing plan Auckland needs, National has forecast years of high rents and more homeless people requiring emergency housing.

“The much-needed rise in student accommodation payments is a joke when you look closer. Where in Auckland can a student get a decent place to live for just $60 a week?

“Anyone who thought having a new Finance Minister who is an Aucklander might mean National finally embraces the best solutions for the city will be disappointed today,” Ms Genter said.