Finance Minister Bill English’s 2010 Budget is a step backwards. It proves National is neither fair nor has a real plan to fix the economy, Labour Finance Spokesperson David Cunliffe said today.
“This should have been a Budget for the many not the few, but it wasn’t,” David Cunliffe said.
“Kiwis who were hoping that this budget might produce a step change in the economy will be bitterly disappointed. Budget 2010 is a step back for many and a lost opportunity for all.
“Instead this is really an old fashioned National party budget that rewards the few at the expense of the many.
“The tax cuts are unfair; a third goes to the top five percent and fifteen percent goes to the top one percent. People in the middle and bottom will go backwards after inflation.
“The upper income tax cuts are unaffordable. The Government is borrowing an extra $450 m next year, and over a billion dollars all up.
“It does nothing to help middle and lower income earners get ahead, once increases in GST, rents, tobacco, ACC and other taxes are taken into account.
“A tax switch is no substitute for an economic plan. The Budget should have invested in our economic future by addressing the real challenges of lifting savings, exports and innovation to build a smart, high-value economy.
“The Budget will do nothing to promote higher incomes or better jobs for most Kiwis. Where is the action plan for developing new industries or adding value to existing ones?
“What is the Government actually doing to encourage savings? How can low and middle income Kiwis save when they are footing the bill for GST and other price increases? "
David Cunliffe said the axing of what National calls “lower quality” programmes would affect many thousands of New Zealanders.
“The quality public services Kiwis families depend upon - like good health care when illness or accidents strike, and a great school for the kids – those will all come under huge pressure from the cuts to new spending,” David Cunliffe said.
“Budget 2010 is a cynical budget. It is desperately short on vision for the future and on Kiwi values of fairness and justice.”