Recently elected Alliance Party co leader and former Alliance MP Kevin Campbell describes the 2012 budget as “hypocritical and disappointing.”
Mr Campbell says, “when I was in government, the then finance minister Michael Cullen said a budget should set down the foundation from which to build a decent future for all New Zealanders. I agree. A budget must be socially as well as fiscally responsible. A liveable income, a warm dry house to live in and access to free education and healthcare; these are the things that all New Zealanders need. They should be a priority in any budget.”
National’s so called savings largely come from increasing costs to middle and low income New Zealanders through raising prescription charges, raising class sizes in state schools to one teacher to 27 students, making student loan conditions more onerous and public service job cuts.
The government has made no attempt to rein in grossly over inflated senior executive salaries rife both in the public service and state owned enterprises and elsewhere. Nor have they considered increasing revenue by reversing the income tax cuts for the rich or introducing other taxes such as a financial transaction tax or capital gains tax which would help stabilize the exchange rate and encourage investment in the productive sector, rather than the counter productive speculation on property and shares.
This budget will certainly not be “the foundation from which to build a decent future for all New Zealanders.”