In his Budget speech, Grant Robertson said: “Budget 2018 lays the foundations for New Zealanders in the decades to come.”
I wonder which New Zealanders he’s talking about, and to whom he is being so carefully responsible in his determination to outdo Bill English’s fiscal conservatism.
There is nothing in this Budget on welfare, not even the fulfilment of Labour’s pre-election pledge to remove the s70a sanction which means around 12,000 beneficiary families get even less money each week because a child’s father has not been named.
It is good that the Government plans to build 1600 more state houses a year for the next four years. However, this does not compute when the latest state housing waiting list stands at 7890 — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the real homeless numbers.
It’s good to see spending increases in some aspects of health and education and other critical areas. Yet to prioritise $100 million for the America’s Cup while desperate housing and welfare needs are so massively unmet flies in the face of any Budget I’d call responsible.