National’s surplus is at the expense of our healthcare and children’s education, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.
“National’s faux surplus has been generated off the back of big funding cuts to our kids’ education and our healthcare,” Dr Norman said.
According to the Budget appropriations, total Health spending will, in nominal terms, fall from $15.6 billion in 2014/15 to $14.68 billion in 2017/18 – given an average inflation rate of 2% in the middle of the range for the three years that will deliver a cut in real terms of 11.1 percent.
For Education, there is a nominal increase over those years from $10.12 billion in 2014/15 to $10.15 billion, but in real terms that is a 5.5 percent cut.
“In Health spending, the cuts over the three years amounts to $1.8 billion in real dollar terms. In Education, it is $588 million over the three years.
“The cuts in these two areas alone equal $2.4 billion, two thirds of the $3.5 billion surplus National is projecting by 2017. National is paying for their surplus from cuts to our health and education.
“National is trying to hide this erosion of health behind its move to provide children with free GP visits but something’s got to give. Who will be the unlucky ones to miss out on surgery? How long will waiting lists get?
“National doesn’t value teachers and our education system but they are crucial to our nation’s future. It’s our kids that will miss out.
“National’s projected surplus is as thin as the ice Justice Minister Judith Collins is skating on.
“This budget is for National’s Cabinet Club mates, not everyday New Zealanders. Under National the richest one percent now own 16 percent of all New Zealand’s wealth, while 50 percent of everyday New Zealanders have just five percent of it.
“The budget won’t help everyday New Zealanders struggling with rising power bills, rising house prices and increasing interest rates.
“National’s enduring economic legacy is growing inequality, growing environmental degradation and massively increased Government debt.
“A Green Party budget would have introduced our key policies of NZ Power to cut power bills, Solar Homes to increase our use of renewables and our Home for Life policy and rental Warrants of Fitness to ensure more people lives in secure warm homes.”