National’s ‘alternative budget’ that includes huge cuts to the government’s operating allowance would risk gutting critical public services, and put health, education and nature at dire risk.
Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said today:
“National’s plan to slash public service spending shows once again that they do not care about the critical public services all of us use. National spent their time in government gutting health, education and conservation spending, and now want to do it all again. Our hospitals and schools are already at breaking point because of neglect. They desperately need an increase in funding, not more cuts.
“National is planning for a decade of children learning in run-down, overcrowded classrooms, longer wait times for essential medical treatments, and less protection for nature.
“Gutting our crucial public services to fund a temporary tax cut is completely irresponsible. Under this proposal, those with the least would suffer the most through reduced services, while those who are doing really well would just build up their wealth.
“This plan would inflame the inequality this Government has worked so hard to reduce. Where the Green Party has a plan to put at least an extra $100 a week in the pockets of low income families who need it, National is proposing just $8.10, not even enough to buy a block of cheese.
“The Greens believe the best way to increase economic stimulus is through a Guaranteed Minimum Income, which would go into the hands of the people who need it most, and who are most likely to spend that money straight away in their communities.
“The Green Party is the only party proposing meaningful tax and income support reforms, including a wealth tax and higher-income tax brackets, which would help rebalance the economy and properly fund our social safety net, schools, and hospitals, so we all have what we need.
“National is proving, once again, that it doesn’t care about public services or low-income New Zealanders.”