The Green Party is hoping National’s eighth budget today will address the great challenges of our time, and not just be another exercise in papering over the cracks in New Zealand society, economy and the environment.
“After eight years of baby steps, we’re hoping Budget 2016 will take some big steps forwards towards a cleaner, fairer, more compassionate future,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“Eight years into John Key’s term, people are asking what exactly is National’s big vision for our nation besides staying in power?
“I believe we need to do all that we can to address our housing crisis. We need more than $41 million of motel beds in Budget 2016.
“The Government has incredible resources to draw from to build thousands of affordable houses so everyone can live in a home to call their own, in a community they can put down roots in.
“The Government also holds most of the levers to drive our economy towards a clean, low carbon future — one that will protect the right of our children to a good life.
“If Bill English mentions climate change in his budget speech today, it will be the first time in eight budgets he’s done so.
“When I look at our increasingly polluted rivers and Maui’s dolphins slipping ever closer to extinction, National’s eight years of greenwash is starting to wear thin.
“We’ll give National credit where it’s due in Budget 2016. For the rest, look out for the spin.
“National’s promise to raise benefits in the last Budget looked great initially, until we discovered that half of all beneficiary families with children didn’t get the full $25 increase promised.
“I want to believe Budget 2016 will make me proud to be a Kiwi today, but the last seven budgets have left me waiting,” Mr Shaw said.