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Dr Muriel Newman

A Change in Direction

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In the lead up to the last election, Labour’s policy manifesto signalled a dramatic change in direction for the country if they became the Government.

With this in mind, the Minister of Finance described his first Budget as “transformational”. The broad signs are already there that the new coalition’s unusual cocktail of radicalism and popularism is the greatest risk that this country has faced in years.

In laying the foundation for their Budget, Labour claimed it had inherited a big mess that needed fixing. Their ‘fake news’ strategy was not only designed to discredit National, but to cover up the fact that they could not afford to deliver on all of their election promises – in spite of tax revenues running well ahead of forecasts, providing the new Government with significantly more money than expected to splash around. Policies on the ‘unaffordable at this time’ list include introducing universally cheaper doctors’ visits, and those on the ‘need to be delayed’ list, include the introduction of winter energy subsidies. 

Underpinning Labour’s approach to the Budget was their commitment to the five Budget Responsibility Rules that they signed with the Green Party in 2017 in order to position themselves as a Government in waiting. Those rules are:

1. To deliver a sustainable operating surplus across an economic cycle.
2. To reduce the level of Net Core Crown Debt to 20 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within five years.
3. To address the long-term financial and sustainability challenges facing New Zealand.
4. To maintain expenditure to within the recent historical range of spending to GDP ratio – namely, 30 percent of GDP.
5. To ensure a progressive taxation system that is fair, balanced, and promotes the long-term sustainability and productivity.

These self-imposed fiscal constraints meant that Labour promised to not only run year-on-year surpluses, but in spite of extra borrowing, they would reduce debt down to 20 percent of GDP within five years. They also planned to restart contributions to the Superfund, invest in infrastructure, tackle climate change, and establish a Tax Working Group.

However, their commitment to keep Government spending under 30 percent of GDP – the long-term average of Core Crown spending over the last 20 years – does not go far enough.

One of the key reasons that New Zealand’s economy has been growing relatively strongly – in spite of the former government facing a recession, the global financial crisis, two earthquakes, and some major commodity slumps – is that National slowly but surely edged government spending downwards, towards a target of 25 percent of GDP, which is known to be the optimum level of government spending for a high performing economy.

The problem is that when government spending is at 30 percent of GDP, the government dominates the economy and dampens growth by consuming wealth. In comparison, when governments are restricted to 25 percent of economic activity, room is left for wealth-creating private enterprise to flourish, incentivising economic activity and lifting living standards for all.

So, what did Budget 2018 deliver?

Altogether, Core Crown Expenses, which include expenses incurred by Ministers, Departments, Offices of Parliament, the New Zealand Super Fund and the Reserve Bank – but not Crown Entities nor State Owned Enterprises – are forecast to rise from $81.7 billion or 28.1 percent of GDP in the 2018 financial year, to $86.7 billion or 28.5 percent of GDP in 2019.

Most key spending areas show an increase from the 2018 to the 2019 forecasts:

– Health will increase from $17.2 billion in 2018 to $18.1b in 2019,
– Education will increase from $13.9b to $14.7b,
– Superannuation will increase from $13.7b to $14.5b
– Welfare will increase from $10.4b to $12.4b,
– Core Government services will decrease from $5.1b to $5b,
– Law and order will increase from $4.3b to $4.4b,
– Transport and communications will increase from $2.5b to $2.6b,
– Economic and industrial services (including KiwiSaver) will increase from $2.9b to $3.3b,
– Defence will increase from $2.3b to $2.4b,
– Environmental protection (Emissions Trading Scheme costs) will reduce from $1.3b to $1.1b,
– Heritage, culture and recreation will reduce from $881 million to $880m,
– Primary services (agriculture) will reduce from $851m to $756m,
– Housing and community development will increase from $602m to $878m.

Budget documents show that of the $86.6 billion in revenue that the Government will receive in the coming financial year, by far the biggest contribution comes from income tax:

– Income tax will increase from $35.8 billion in this 2018 financial year to $38b in 2019,
– Company tax increases from $13b to $13.7b,
– GST increases from $20.7b to $22b,
– Road user charges stay steady on $1.5b,
– Petrol tax increases from $1.1b to $1.3b,
– Alcohol tax increases from $1b to $1.1b,
– Tobacco tax reduces from $1.8b to $1.7b,
– ACC levies increase from $2.7b to $2.9b.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, financial analyst Frank Newman, has provided NZCPR readers with a comprehensive analysis of the Budget, which includes a breakdown from Treasury outlining who pays the lion’s share of income tax in New Zealand:

“Of the income tax collected: The 19 percent of taxpayers earning over $70,000 pay 64 percent of all income tax. The 11 percent of taxpayers earning over $90,000 pay 49 percent of all income tax. And the 3 percent of taxpayers earning more than $150,000 pay 25 percent of all income tax.”

So much for the tax system being “fair”!

Frank sums up the Budget as follows: “It’s a pretty simple equation – stronger economy, more tax revenue, more to spend. That’s the plain truth behind Budget 2018… The irony for National is that for six years after the Global Financial Crisis and the Canterbury earthquakes, it continued to grow government spending at a time when the tax take was flat. The result was annual cash deficits from 2009 to 2016, funded by debt. The first cash surplus was in 2017. Having done the hard graft, National handed Mr Robertson an economy that is oozing cash.”

The notes to the Budget show that over the next four years, income tax is expected to increase by almost $10 billion, with almost $5b accruing from wage growth, almost $3b from growth in the number workers, and almost $2b from fiscal drag, which occurs when inflation pushes taxpayers into higher income tax brackets.

According to Budget forecasts, by 2022 the average worker will be on an annual income of $72,000. Unless adjustments are made to the tax brackets, New Zealand’s average workers will be forced to pay the country’s top tax rate of 33 percent – which kicks in at $70,000.

While National did eventually legislate to reduce taxes, it ended up being too little and too late. One of the first acts of the new coalition government was to cancel the tax cuts that were to take effect from 1 April, which would have given workers an extra $1,000 a year in income.

Indeed it is ironic, that the Prime Minister is now claiming she wants to help the struggling middle classes, when she not only cancelled their tax relief, but is also significantly increasing fuel taxes. In other words, under Labour, the struggling middle classes are set to struggle even more.

However, if the Prime Minister was genuine about wanting to help struggling families, she should align New Zealand to the moves of governments around the world to lower and flatten the tax system. They know that lowering a country’s tax burden, will not only increase the tax take, but it will also lead to stronger economic growth and greater prosperity.

Accordingly, New Zealand’s income tax thresholds should be indexed to inflation to prevent fiscal drag, and the top personal tax rate should be lowered to match the company rate, to make the tax system simpler and fairer.

The Budget shows that Labour is planning to spend an additional $24 billion over and above what was forecast for the next four years. This will be made up of new debt of $9b, almost $8b from National’s cancelled tax cuts, $5.3b of additional tax revenue created by higher economic growth, and $1.5b in tax changes – including collecting more tax from international businesses like Google, extending the bright-line test on housing investment, and imposing GST on low-value goods purchased from overseas online retailers.

The Budget outlines some key risks to the New Zealand economy.

These include the risk that if inflation rises, interest rates will increase too and constrain growth, since businesses invest less when borrowing costs are high, and households switch away from spending in favour of paying down debt or investing for higher returns. Households are especially sensitive to higher interest rates, since current household debt is at record levels relative to income.

Treasury points out the international connection – if interest rates rise in other countries, capital could leave New Zealand in search of a better return, and banks, which source their funding from overseas, would need to raise the cost of borrowing.

The Budget makes the point that housing is particularly sensitive to changes in migration. Since trans-Tasman flows are not controlled by visa requirements, if the Australian economy improves relative to ours, there is a real risk that the recent trend for Kiwis to return home will be reversed. This will impact heavily on the housing market and on budget forecasts in general.

Two risk factors identified in the Budget relate directly to the change in direction signalled by Labour in the run up to the election. These are firstly, Labour’s plan to ignore the concerns of the business sector and allow their trade union affiliates to dominate the workplace. And, secondly, through the radical environmental agenda they have appropriated from the Greens, their proposal to penalise farmers.

In particular, Treasury has identified low business confidence, which could dampen investment and curb employment growth, as a serious risk to the economy.

In fact, since Labour has been in power, business confidence has dived. Changes that have contributed to this include their plan to increase the minimum wage to $20 an hour by 2021, their significant increases in petrol tax, and their plan to turn the industrial relations clock backwards by empowering the unions. 

In addition, businesses saw how ruthlessly Labour derailed the oil and gas industry – without any consultation, and without the ban on future deep sea oil and gas exploration even being signalled in their election manifesto.

It now turns out that Labour commandeered this and other extremist global warming policies from the Green Party, then promoted them as their own. This includes Jacinda Ardern’s “nuclear free moment” to introduce a zero emissions economy by 2050. But not only are we yet to hear what a zero emission economy would actually look like for New Zealand, but we are also still waiting for concrete evidence that global warming is real – rather than just computer model projections – before our backbone industries are undermined and our economy compromised.

Labour plans to start their radical zero carbon transition by bringing agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme, even though the only way to reduce emissions from livestock is to cut stock numbers. The cost to the sector will be hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and it will result in substantially lower export earnings.

As Treasury points out, this is a huge risk for a country that is so largely dependent on agriculture – falling exports would bring economic decline through slower growth, lower tax revenues, a lower exchange rate and more expensive imports.

In that light, Labour’s plan to penalise the farming sector can only be described as reckless ideology.

The Green Party, of course, thinks it’s wonderful news.

So while the winner of the Budget handout stakes goes to ‘Kingmaker’ Winston Peters, who secured almost $3 billion in funding for his pet projects, the real victor is the Green Party, which, through its presence in Government, is influencing Labour to penalise business and potentially cripple our backbone agricultural industry through radical policies that are so extreme, no other country would seriously consider enacting them. 


Do you support or oppose Labour’s Budget?

*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


Click to view x 120


Given that the National party got more votes than they did, Labour would have to be aware that their tax and spend policies do not have popular support. Three years of these shenanigans will bankrupt the country! Labour deals in myths rather than reality. (It was the same with the issues of benefit dependency and child poverty, caused by incompetent/uncaring parents having more children than they can afford to support, in the knowledge that society will pay and pay.) What’s the answer? The problem, as usual, is political correctness. We need to wake up and see the damage that political correctness causes everywhere! The answer is to challenge political correctness and show it up for what is: extremely harmful bulls**t! Bob
They will want to get rid of democracy next Michael
We have had 9 years of Key who has been the most trecherous prime minister NZ has ever had and I thought we needed him ??? to begin with now where are we William
Stupid Richard
Absolutely oppose this budget. This is what you get when you put a bunch of naieve children in charge of the lolly shop. If Kiwis wish to make it impossible for this bizarre situation to ever arise again we must have binding referenda as the law of the country. Ronmac
In the lollie scramble to get control of Government Labour upped National everywhere and people believed them. But thise people don;t live in the real world. I agree that Health is underfunded with DHB’s spending too much of their energy trying to balance the books rather than spending it on the reason for their existence. I think the term is” spending like drunken sailors”. Ahoy there, Grant!! Mike
If we were to proceed as we did over National’s rule, we would still be going backwards. Lets try something different even if there are risks involved. Mika
Green party need to voted out of parliament as quickly as possible as they are the most dangerous socialist party ever to be in our govt. & before they completely wreak our backbone primary industries. Also because a ‘stupid little girl’ who is our virtuous, idealistic communist PM is a useful idiot for these socialistic/Marxist policies and has zero leadership skills. I oppose Labour on principle for their equality of outcome nonsense ideals. Monica
I believe this government is out of touch with Fiscal reality Deanne
they are too good at giving $ to the wrong causes Francis
Are you kidding? These policies are suicide for our country! Simon
Socialism… is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Founder Karl Marx Don
Dont be fooled into thinking this transitional Budget is mainly benign, transitional is to prepare NZ for entry into the NWO by decimating its middle class including landowning farmers and building Landlords. The farce that is climate change is to be perpetrated into agriculture and forestry, the populace is to be controlled with wealth transferring taxes, GST and energy, Saving is to be crippled by government spend created inflation and everyone is tpo be controlled by various welfare payments that are controlled in relation to induced inflation. The political elites can expect special privileges and the value of the vote is decimated to nothing. Welcome to the deceitful world of socialism and NWO, brought to you by UN and NWO. This is a fight for a Nations life. Richard
We’re stuffed! Scott
This country needs Donald Trump, a gutsy man who made election promises and is keeping them. I remember Marg. Thatcher commenting ‘socialism’ is great until you run out of other people’s money to spend. While we have a treacherous Winston, loopy Greens and a fish n chip shop assistant running this country, we will continue down the slippery slope. Carolyn
Where is the Plan to reduce CO2 emissions to zero in 32 years. No other country believes that Solar and Wind Energy has a hope of replacing hyrdocarbons, and as I understand it Hydro generation within NZ has already been developed to its maximum capacity. How is the almost $800M planned to be taken in the first year from the Carbon Emission Trading Scheme together with the $1,1 Billion Enviromental Fund to be dispersed? Are we all to return to horse-drawn power or bicycles (would have to be bicycles or shanks-pony as horses would emit CO2 and Methane) the inclusion of our stock into the emissions scheme will significantly reduce the major contribution that this Industry makes to our economy as zero emissions would mean the eradication of stock or at best a significant reduction in stocking levels. And while we are at it, how are we to reduce the emissions from we homo-sapiens who emit CO2 every time we exhale. The restoration of power to the unions will do nothing to improve productivity or GDP. On the face of it we must inevitably reduce our standard of living in line with a reducing GDP. Where is the plan to build the 100,000 homes that were pledged to be built in the run-up to the 2017 Election (2,775/month over three years)? The only items mentioned are 6,400 state homes over 4 years, 200 emergency housing units this year and provision for approx a further 290 over the next 4 years. How can I support this budget! Michael
The coalition government hasn’t a clue how to run NZ. They are living in cloud cuckoo land. The only word they know is HOPE. Mike
Bunch of clowns this coalition most certainly are! 11.5 million to help iwi claim our beaches! How is that good for all New Zealanders? Rex
Reckless and foolhardy. Ken
To cut funding to agriculture. The main driver for our economy. Madness. Then the broken promises, and the extra burden being put on middle and low income New Zealand. We were better off under a more right leaning National. Robin
Free student first year at the cost of the promised winter heating subsidy and lower doctors visits? Labour couldn’t believe their luck being handed a treasury bench awash with cash. Trouble is they have over promised, probably to the tune of about 11 Billion dollars or more. Wonder where I got that figure from Neil
Typical closet Marxists, hammer the people who create wealth! A good example of the political system we have, forming political associations with the radical minority and demented Green party. Rex
There are a couple of good points, but over all what the Greens have manged to get to happen in the budget is negative; – apart from the madness of expecting small businesses that are already having a hard time of it to pay high wages to a generation who really don’t know how to work! Ted
There is nothing fair at all about a progressive tax system. A really fair tax rate is a flat rate. There is a very strong argument for zero tax on business. The recent budget is socialist ideology wrapped in sugar to appeal to the unthinking masses who are being induced to feel that they are getting an advantage that someone else is going to pay for. Wake up New Zealand. Free is a four letter word and so called free things are 100% funded by tax payers. Peter
A budget to punish the Makers and reward the Takers, and we all know what that leads to – look at Venezuela for a text book example. Mike
Well done Jacinda, Winston & Grant – a transformational budget for the poisoned chalice inherited following 9-years of National trashing virtually all aspects of living in NZ – and at last seriously addressing the ecological and climatic challenges confronting both NZ and the world John
At first I thought they may be ok, how wrong I was,this govts policies are set to destroy our very important export sector.eg.farming,. no oil no exports no imports no fuel no anything.goodbynz James
Jacinda has no business brain, just like the majority of clowns she is leading. Looking to the future one can only say that we are doomed . A wonderful country being led down the garden path to obscurity. Very sad Tom
I hope these idiots fall out before the next election, then God help NZ. Athol
The several major policies that have harmed business confidence are going to make us all poorer in the long term Richard
Promises, promises, promises!!! Jim
Yet again, the middle income earners such as us receive nothing from this budget to help us balance our own budgets. We pay our taxes, rates, insurances including health insurance (until that became too expensive on reaching 65), the spiralling cost of fuel and electricity (getting “done” on the $700 energy grant because the government couldn’t get it organised before July!), etc, etc. Labour has sold out to the Green party and its policies, such as shutting down oil and gas production (without consultation with anyone, let alone the industry itself), which is a real threat to our economy. Laurence
It does seem to spread the funds better than other budgets but still does not throw the tax net over many who do not pay Graeme
Loss of confidence in all sectors has to be of concern especially worrying is the changes to the industrial relation environment. Giving the unions more strength has to be bad for workers long term. Murray
Labour, have no idea how to run a business as they have always relied on government hand outs. & most of them have never ran a business. Geoff
Is it possible for National to get the publics vote of NO CONFIDENCE & get rid of her & the greens before they do MORE DAMAGE Cindy
Commies strike again Barry
Teachers are complaing for more money and said that they mainly helped put Labour in power.No they did not ,that honour fell to the right dick head Winstone on his own Allan
Disastrous Margaret
Once again the Labour party goes off the rails led by the nose by the Green Party and to think I voted Labour, not any more! Fraser
Labour has taken a giant step backwards..haven’t they learnt anything during their nine years in opposition …it is spend spend spend Dianne
Notable that the biggest expenditure increase is in the black hole called welfare. Even less reason for the “nephews” to get off the couch and contribute to the economy. Frank
Only a Labour Party member would approve the budget. It seems the requisite for a labour voter, greens, and of course NZ First, is to go and buy yourself some rose tinted glasses. Lloyd
unrealistic and not enough for health and essential services Murray
Too much tax – time for a tax break. Andrew
A slowly-developing national economic disaster ahead, disguised by our current prosperity, thus not noticed by the electorate! Bill
The last of the big spenders. They wouldn’t have a clue how to run an economy,let alone a country Thanks for nothing Winston. Ross
Hear they go again. On a slide to ruin the country as quick as they can just so National can spend six to nine years getting it straight again. Wayne
Pie in the sky. Health spending I believe is necessary. A substantial portion of the balance of spending is harming not only our primary industries but business confidence as well. It will impact on the economy. There is notably a sizable amount in the budget destined for what I would relate to frivolous spending.  Chris
Totally reckless, we can only hope they don’t do too much damage in the next two and a half years when we can get a real government again! Peter
I do not support Labour or their budget. Pierre
They talked big figures FOR NEXT 4 YEARS while actually only allocated inflation increases Wayne
It’s very meek and non committal but no doubt with the Greens in tow it will cost us in some form. Alan
already planning for the next election David
The implementation of Green policies will be disastrous for our economy. There is no global warming caused by CO2.. John
The first step in milking the system of all the hard yards of The previous 9 years of hard graft.I think back to the last time labour was in power and the massive builds that were constructed around the country to house the growing beaurocracy Bryan
a budget for the people at last Bryan
Any shift toward greater dependency on the state and less personal responsibility is BAD. Geoff
This is what happens when you have incompetent people trying to run the country how many of them have ever ran a profitable business Peter
This is a tragedy. The National government was heading slowly but surely in the right direction and now the spendthrifts are in power they will waste a lot of it by increasing so called “help” to people with another large bureaucratic system to ensure it is “fair”. I could use the $1040 National tax cut per year better than they could any day. Colin
What else can we expect? IAN
Not one of them could earn an honest buck in a proper job and they spend other people’s money in a profligate manner – as if they, themselves had earned it. Aunty Podes
With the Green party in tow with the labour party their ideology will bankrupt the country. Wayne
Labour = tax, tax, tax. Mark
They have NO idea on how to govern. Everything is another think tank which is a gravy train for their mates. I would like to see them gone tomorrow. Carl
Typical Labour budget. Tax and spend Does the leopard change its spots?. Harvey
What a wish wash of a budget, promise to give with one hand and take with another to make them this scam Government know what they are doing and think we are stupid. Marylin
Killing the incentive and future direction for something “green” Jeff
Monumental Mess Positioning MMP David
The hidden purpose of the Labour budget is twofold; firstly it panders to the Green Party, which itself is merely the extreme left of socialism (ie Communism in a cloak of environmental concerns as yet unproven). Secondly it lays the groundwork for the next election victory, which I understand will take place after the next adjustment of our electoral boundaries. The increases in urban population through immigration especially in Auckland will be a blessing for socialism, and ensure a further disenfranchise those who reside in the country. As it is highly likely that Winston Peters and his party will almost disappear from the electoral scene and the fight for power will return to its core choices of either Right or Left. Provided that the National Party stops its flirtation with its notion of a right of centre socialistic idealism and the dream or rather nightmare, of attempting to please everyone. There is absolutely no mention of really tackling the problem of ever increasing Government or private debt; which will be left to subsequent generations. Thrift it seems is avoided by socialism. Also this budget makes no mention of increasing our export income to not only maintain our present standard of living, but take into account our rising population. This is especially relevant, with real concern due to the likely event that our dairy exports and receipts will be suffering from the effects of this spreading bovine disease ensuring a drop in cow numbers. A factor which we all should note which will send the Green Party into raptures of delight; and give them confidence to tackle the rest of our ‘environmental wrecking animal agricultural industry’.  Brian
Only so much honey in the jar. I would be saddened if they followed Nationals ideals. Jon
While Labour “discovered’ many areas of Underfunding it did appear to find any areas of over-funding. Peter
A bit like the Curate’s egg – good in parts. The net result will be that the Coalition will have greater funds with which to bribe a gullible electorate next year, and election year following that. It is a re-election budget which has done nothing to stimulate productivity, economic growth, but everything to stimulate individual dependency on government (taxpayer) welfare. Andrew
The Labour Government is doing what they always do Redistributing Wealth and the previous National Govt was nearly as bad What needs to be done is the dismantling of the Working For Families How can it be more efficient to tax some body and then give them money back The process must cost money Why not leave them with the money in the first place WFF only makes middle income people welfare beneficiaries and that is not what most would want. Sure the low paid may need help and that can be delivered other ways I am sure The best solution in my opinion would be a tax free threshold and then a flat tax after that with a reduction in the welfare pay outs I live in hope Robin
A lolly scramble for those on Social Welfare. Surely everyone in a job would be far more beneficial. Job creation is the number one priority to get families out of poverty. Andrew
I’ve had already heard of young people migrating to UK and s. Too hard to get on the property ladder in NZ Alan
How can we have a growing economy with the greens in power. Dennis
Usual left wing ideology, supported by ‘Green’ Party rubbish . Its all a tragedy duly considering the present status of our economy as near the top in world ranking. Hylton
Short term good; long-term not so good. Alan
They wont be happy until they completely destroy the economy then leave it to national to get us back on track. Clark
Do they think they have won lotto Spend spend not enough thought Rita
Reluctantly – not too bad! David
Warm and fuzzy radicalism Bruce
Spend now and worry about were the money comes from tomorrow. Great planning, I think not Barry
They have to go. Lets have another election Simon
A very worrying direction for NZ.. And the loss of key National stalwarts English and Joyce so soon after our sham of an election process only compound this Sharen
They live in fairy land Graeme
Short term good, long term leads to major concerns. BTW it seems grass is not included when comes to CO2 absorption, only trees. Now, that skews things for us completely. Happy with increase to health and Education though. Christine
Wankers, all of them – from Brian W. Brian
Once again Labour will drag us down in to debt and the next government will as usual struggle to get us back on a firm footing and it will not be popular Brianb
Cooking the goose that lays the golden egg Rob
Student socialist politics and green looney-tunes are the new narrative, all thanks to MMP and a vengeful narcissistic geriatric. I’ve moved my business to USA. John
Huge backward steps for this Countries economy and radical realtions another backward step. Steve
Jacinderella’s had to swallow too many dead rats just to get into power, Winston & the green nutters are running the country down the gurgler Dave
Hits the poorest the hardest Andi
Such a shame they’re sending NZ backwards after all National’s hard work. Chris
Too many broken promises already…. Don
This budget signals the start of a domino effect on growth, toppling the gains made by the previous govt. Don
This is labour spend what we haven’t got Richard
Still to much going to Maori Jimmy
Spending less on health and education and getting away with it John
Socialists have no idea Greg
The ignorant blind leading the nation further down the road to ruin Ian
Nothing for an old man like me Graeme
Spend, Spend where is the plan for economic grow to cover all the spending. Frank
An opportunity missed by not supporting New Zealanders with lower taxes. Pdm
A Government budget is supposed to be a statement for the next financial year not for 3 or 4 years hence. It is very easy to make budget promises over a long term and in reality these promises seldom hold up. Nev
MMP is NOT democracy – it is just a doorway for the loony left. Maurice
It’s responsible Kevin
The EU is having to back away from “sustainable energy” or face blackouts and triple energy costs. Man made global warming is simply not happening. Forget trying to be somsome sort of anti nuke angel Jacinda you wwill end up looking very silly Michael
Labour has been held to ransom by their two coalition partners – the unrealistic Greens overshaddowed by the self seeking importance of Peters proving them to be mere minnows in a game of one handed winner takes all poker. Robyn
I vehemently oppose the budget. Our governors and our voters, at a national and local level, keep on living a life of the lie – the lie of socialism and nothing substantial is ever going to change until our state education system is defunded – universities FIRST !!! Don
NZ was doing so well, now in a few months it’s all going downhill, increase petrol means all costs will go up, the dollar has dropped exponentially, it’s not looking good for the future at all. Thanks Winston, enjoy your cash, the financial crises you predicted is because you caused it. Audrey
Leave them alone Levonne
Labour is squandering our wealth as a nation and putting in place policies to destroy the economy. I just hope the public realises who is to blame when everything turns to custard.  Charles
We should have had the tax cuts and the investment in roads that National promised.  Jason
Tax and spend – that’s Labour! Kath
No, I would never support Labour, although the budget is not as bad as it could have been. Edward
They will destroy the economy with their radical ideas. Don’t they remember how bad it was last time they were in charge and the unions were destroying businesses. Oh but I forgot – they don’t care about that as long as their union mates are happy.  Kerry