John Key and Bill English have delivered a fudge-it budget by massaging the books, turning transport spending into loans, keeping ACC levies higher than needed and cutting funding for the Canterbury local infrastructure rebuild to scrape into surplus, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.
“A look behind the books shows National has fudged the numbers.
“They are overcharging individual Kiwis, car owners and businesses by $120 million in ACC levies for a year longer than they need to. And they are fudging transport costs, loaning the New Zealand Transport Agency $375 million instead of counting it as spending. They have also cut $567 million out of the Government’s contribution to local infrastructure in the Canterbury rebuild.
“The big losers are first home buyers. House prices in Auckland have gone up $200,000 under National and all the Government offers today is a saving of $3500 on a new build. You could get a better deal off your mortgage broker.
“National thinks a budget is only about achieving surplus but Labour knows that won’t help squeezed families who have struggled for five years on stagnant wages while watching their household bills hike every month and house prices skyrocket.
“National’s families package today will do very little to address the serious inequalities that have built up over the past five years.
“At the same time they’ve delivered $40 million more in irrigation subsidies to dairy farmers and refused calls to clamp down on local and overseas property speculators.
“This budget could be the Annual Report of the Cabinet Club.
“The choice for Kiwis is now clear. National’s no ideas against Labour’s new ideas. Labour’s policies will ensure New Zealand is a country with secure work, supported families and healthy homes.
“Only Labour has the vision and the innovative ideas to make a real difference. Our Economic Upgrade will create jobs, increase investment, boost innovation and support industry.
“We aim to get unemployment down to 4% by 2017, run fiscal surpluses and pay down National’s $56 billion debt.
“Labour knows that people matter most. National’s fudge-it budget is just politics as usual,” David Cunliffe says.