Wait – what? The Greens are voting for this Budget???


What the hell?

Labour leader Andrew Little denies crack in Labour-Greens relationship after different stance on Budget

Labour leader Andrew Little says the different positions of Labour and Greens on National’s budget package for families is not a sign of a crack in the parties’ agreement to co-operate.

Labour and the Greens have similar views on National’s “Family Incomes Package” on tax cuts, Working for Families and the Accommodation Supplement but the Green Party is supporting legislation to pass it while Labour is opposing it.

Greens co-leader James Shaw said they were not big fans of the tax cuts and it was a fine line, but the changes to Working for Families and Accommodation Supplement would benefit about 50,000 children in severe hardship and the party could not ignore that.

However, Little said Labour would not support it because the tax changes were poorly directed and gave too much to higher income earners rather than those on very low incomes.

…this is some sick joke right? The Greens are going to vote for this budget?

The Budget that was described as obsessed with lowering Government debt rather than invest in people this morning by CPAG?

The Budget that was described this morning by community leaders as immoral because it walks away from the poor?

National is increasing spending on prisons & military in greater percentages than welfare…

Those areas seeing significant increases during the new Budget year include law and order (+5.3%), defence (+2.0%), and welfare (excluding New Zealand Superannuation) (+0.9%).

…that’s the Budget the Greens are voting for?

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I don’t even know what the fuck to say to that. Unbelievable, just unbelievable.

National’s budget is a one trick pony that forgot the trick, but the Greens will vote for it?

There is a plethora of info deeply critical of this budget, if you’re a mainstream media outlet in NZ selling this as positive you’re spin Drs not journalists.

Or you are the Greens.

Jesus wept folks. Is there anyone awake inside the Green Party strategy team?

The National Party will be telling everyone up and down the country that they are so middle of the road that even the Greens voted for their budget.

It’s like the Greens want to manufacture the very ammunition that will be used against them.

I think the Greens have been drinking from all those badly polluted rivers.


  1. I really really had my doubts about businessman James Shaw assuming the leadership mantle because I wondered where in that capitalist world did he really come from. And now this confirms it, the same place as Key.

    Things in the Green Party are starting to get weird.

    • Sad but true re James @XRAY. When you operate in that corporatist world, it rubs off. My sympathies go to MT.
      I was just about to say … watch how the media spin it, and as I write this – it just has:
      A “rift” between Labour and the Greens.

      Where is MT these days btw?
      IT reminds me of what I just witnessed in the local supermarket:
      husband to wife: “Settle girl!”

    • 100% XRAY

      Lesson learned here. = Dont trust the greens!!!!

      I should know, as I once was one.

      But then in 2001 we had ( WHEN THEY WERE REAL GREENS “ACTIVISTS” WE ALL WERE CALLED) solid honest hearts like Rod Donald, Sue Kedgley & Jeanette Fitzsimmons.

      But sadly now we have mostly a business friendly tinge.

      Looks like they are now hoping to get enough votes just to hitch onto Nactional again it appears as they did in 2008.

  2. Given that the budget will pass whether the Greens support it or not, it seems all the Green support will garner is respectability for the budget. If it was a chess move, it would be a poor one.

    • Do you play?

      Understanding how to execute the “Queens Gambit Accepted” means moving beyond queens pawn beyond the threat of attack and not sacraficing your pawn and dominate the centre. That is the psychology of the queens gambit. Not quite a master move, that comes later but a classic move. Definitely not a poor move. But we are not playing chess

  3. The Greens are apparently only voting in favour of the family tax part of the Budget, which is presently being debated in Parliament, you can watch it live on Parliament TV, channel 31 on Freeview.

    While this raises some eyebrows, it appears that the Greens feel there are some benefits in this part of the Budget, that offer some income improvements for families, so they rather support it, as these are overdue. This does not come without criticism though, and it appears the Greens still oppose other parts of the Budget.

    Of concern is that Greens vote differently to Labour with whom they have a Memorandum of Understanding. This does of course raise questions about the solidity of their cooperation until the election.

    I observe that also NZ First appears to vote in favour of this part of the Budget, at least they voted alongside with the Nats and ACT, in voting down amendments sought by the Greens and Labour (Metiria and Jacinda).

    So we see the challenges again, the opposition parties not being all that unified on issues and policy, which is a disadvantage. Divide and rule keeps the Nats in power, so more effort is needed for the opposition to present a convincing enough alternative to voters, as we will hardly see Labour reach 40 percent of votes, with the present policy and team.

    • until one year ago the Greens were the most progressive Party in the nation. Now, the Greens under Shaw abandoned their policy on superannuation..then retracted it with a wishy washy statement. They abandoned their position on raising income taxes for the wealthy. They abandoned their position on nationalizations. They have slowed down on their position on reversing the ERA/ECA on employment. Now they have accepted National’s budget…then retracted saying it was only part of the budget. Big mistake.

      Really, the empirical evidence demonstrates that NZ does have the lowest tax burden, one of the lowest upper income thresholds, one of the lowest debt burden, and spends lees than any other developed country per GDP. We can afford to spend more to improve the glaring failings of the Nats, not follow them on the race to the neolib bottom.

  4. Trouble is the poor do not necessarily vote Greens, they do not have all that many votes in South Auckland for instance, where most vote Labour or not at all. Hence the Greens seem to be mindful of their urban voters, most professional middle class persons, and some also students, who may welcome up to 20 dollars more in accommodation support now offered from 1 April next year.

    The Greens will stay at around ten to thirteen percent of the votes, and have so far failed to convince enough NZ voters that the environment should be a high priority to them all and for the country’s future.

  5. ‘Greens co-leader James Shaw said they were not big fans of the tax cuts and it was a fine line, but the changes to Working for Families and Accommodation Supplement would benefit about 50,000 children in severe hardship and the party could not ignore that.’

    The Accommodation Supplement will not benefit anyone but the greedy landlords ( many of them MP’s) who always equate Supplement increases with rent increases. It will be swallowed up at their next rent review. Rents in Auckland have increased 100% since 2008 and reflect the cost of property which have also increased by at least this number.

    Those facing hardship would prefer food, power and clothing supplements which would actually benefit them specifically and of course a roof over their head.

    Time for the Labour Party to read the Greens the riot act.

    • I bet that Mr James Shaw does not understand much of the WINZ and MSD benefit system, and on what basis the Accommodation Supplement is paid to those needing it.

      Of course it is supposed to help with rent payments, but as you write, it does in the end go into the pocket of landlords, who can now try and demand even more rent, especially on landlord favourable markets such as Auckland.

      Perhaps Mr Shaw and his colleagues need a lesson on how the abatement system works for those on benefits, because many beneficiaries in Auckland will only survive with temporary additional support (TAS) to pay their essential costs.

      That though appears to be reduced as a consequence of higher Accommodation Supplement payments, as Steven Joyce has already hinted in his Budget Speech:


      “The Accommodation Supplement has not been updated since 2005, and is based on 2003 rents.

      Today I am announcing that from 1 April next year the maximum Accommodation Supplement rates for a two person household will increase between $25 and $75 a week, while the maximum rates for larger households will increase between $40 and $80 a week.

      In addition, changes to the Accommodation Supplement areas will provide further gains for some families.

      These are in addition to the tax and Working for Families changes already announced in the Package.

      This increase in the Accommodation Supplement is expected to directly benefit around 136,000 low income households around New Zealand. It will also reduce the reliance on Temporary Additional Support that some families currently receive to top up their Accommodation Supplement.

      I am also announcing that the Accommodation Benefit, which is paid to eligible Student Allowance recipients who experience housing stress, will also increase by up to $20 per week.”

      Rents have increased substantially since 2003, and what is now offered as an increase of the Accommodation Supplement will not even cover the amounts that represent the high rent increases, so it is a late, much overdue catching up kind of step, but will not mean more spending money for those on benefits, as they will not be better off anyway.

      Even those not getting TAS will not have more spending money, as the supplement is only paying part of the rent, which is ending up in the landlord’s pocket.

      While there may be some small increases that families get under Working For Families and that tax earners may get for shifting tax thresholds, I question whether they will be all that much better off, if at all, once the overall balance of accounts are looked at.

      Prepare for more user pays charges soon, and for higher ACC levies and so forth, the Nats never just give with one hand and hold the other one back, they will soon enough take it back with the other hand. All they want is win a fourth term in government, that is why this supposed extra spending is happening.

  6. Obviously designed by the same genius that thought up the idea of Green leaders and candidates posing as oh so rich and chic models — in mostly black with some (blue) green accents — on the cover of North & South. Another winning move, to the right.

    • Or Russel Norman either WK. He kept the Greens alive and ticking over in its original format. I’ve noticed the change since he left. Even Meteria is not the same gutsy MP she once was with Russel as her co leader.

      As far as my long term vote for NZ Greens is concerned, they can go jump now! Shaw is definitely taking the party away from its original values, directing it towards the centre and a very murky shade of blue in the process! This and the Pt England issue, where they abstained, are only the beginning of the Greens giving the Natz more clout!

      This election I will be voting Labour, something I haven’t done since the Douglas spectre rose its ugly vile head in the ’80s!

  7. Overall this was a good budget. One that assisted those on lower wages but were nonetheless working. A fair redistribution of the efficiency improvements gained over the last few years.

    The Greens were therefore morally correct in supporting it. Not for them back-biting politics of Andrew Little.

    • Andrew, it transferred unaffordable tax cuts to landlords so stop pretending otherwise with your pithy comments.

    • Hammer and Sickle now, Andrew, I remind of “communism by stealth” comments Nats made in the past???

  8. Lot of talk about how the Greens are becoming closer to National.
    It may be more of a reflection of how the world politics have moved noticeably to the right over the last three to four decades and New Zealand is not immune to this.
    All left of centre parties have had to do a lot of thinking about whether they go with the shift and still have a shot at being elected or whether they stick with their left principles and risk electoral oblivion.
    But this shift has not happened naturally. It has been a deliberate product of collusion by the international corporate powers and the people who spread (mis)information – those who stand to make more money from right wing policies.
    That is the reason why this has happened.
    Greed, pure and simple.
    Forget about the crappy trickle down theory of economics or Milton Friedman’s tired old rhetoric. They don’t work and they never did work.
    The right want themselves to be rich and you to be poor because by making you poor it makes them rich and makes them feel more powerful.

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