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Dr Muriel Newman

The Dependency Budget

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Budget 2021 was the most political budget we have seen in recent years. From the new railway assembly workshops in Dunedin – to keep the trade unions happy – to the major income boosts for beneficiaries of up to $55 a week, it represented a major payback to Labour’s traditional supporters.

Unrestrained by the brake of coalition partners, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson unreservedly rewarded party faithful with billions of dollars of public spending – including upwards of $1 billion for railways and $3.3 billion for benefit increases.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson indicated his huge investment in the marginalised in this Budget helped balance the significant outlay directed at businesses – to keep them afloat during the Covid crisis – that had dominated the previous Budget. But it is pure socialist propaganda to equate paying a weekly wage to keep someone employed with increasing weekly benefit incomes: One keeps people out of dependency, while the other traps them in it. 

The Herald’s senior political correspondent Audrey Young, believes the main objective of the Budget was to make the Prime Minister look good: “Lifting the incomes of the poorest Kiwis on benefits had to happen, for several reasons other than alleviating suffering. With Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern having created the Child Poverty Reduction portfolio in 2017, having put herself in charge of it, and having made underwhelming progress, it was clear something had to change this term to maintain her credibility, no matter what state the books were in.”

In other words, preventing the Prime Minister from losing face over her failure to alleviate child poverty was a key reason for the benefit increases.

The reality is that under Labour, things are getting worse – as the Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins pointed out in her Budget speech: “Have a look at their four years – astonishing. Fifteen hundred more children in poverty since Labour took over – that’s why they’re having to pay more in benefits. The Prime Minister said the end of homelessness. Guess what: 17,000 more on the State house waiting list under her Government; four thousand children growing up in motels – that’s a million dollars a day. The motel generation – a shocking indictment on a Government that just loves photo ops and announcements.”

The real reason Jacinda Ardern has not reduced child poverty is that she has failed to accept that welfare creates poverty. The only sustainable way to reduce persistent hardship is to help families with children into the workforce, so they can build a better future for themselves independent of the State. By raising benefits, the Prime Minister will instead trap more welfare families with children in poverty.

It is worthwhile remembering that the welfare system created by Michael Joseph Savage in 1938 did not incentivise dependency. By focussing on providing a hand-up to work through welfare payments that supplemented community-based charitable efforts to assist the needy, it created a social contract between taxpayers and the government to ensure that only those who were of “good character” and met community standards were eligible for state benefits. As a result, for thirty years, less than 15,000 people received state welfare, with fewer than a thousand unemployed.

In the early seventies, however, the Holyoake Government’s Royal Commission on social security, produced recommendations, that, when introduced by the 1973 Kirk Labour Government, fundamentally transformed welfare.

The first was to change benefit eligibility from being needs-based and available only to those ‘of good moral character and sober habits’, into a universal entitlement. For the first time, the welfare system rewarded those exhibiting indolent and destructive behaviours such as alcoholism, drug addiction, and criminality.

The second was to raise benefit levels closer to a working wage – instead of benefits being sufficient to tide people over while they found a new job, the Commission wanted to ensure a beneficiary could “enjoy a standard of living close enough to the general community standard for him to feel a sense of participating in the community and belonging to it”. As a result, the urgency to find a job and be appreciably better off, all but disappeared creating welfare ‘as a lifestyle choice’.

The third was the introduction of the Domestic Purposes Benefit, a statutory benefit available to sole mothers with dependent children. This was the first benefit available for reasons of choice, such as wanting to leave a violent relationships, rather than for factors outside of a person’s control such as the death of a spouse, the loss of a job, injury, or accident.

The impact of those three recommendations was profound – intergenerational welfare dependency began blighting lives and leading to serious social dysfunction, and within thirty years, one in three New Zealand families with children were headed by a single parent.

According to Ministry of Social Development data, as at the end of March 2021, more than 11.7 percent of the working-age population were receiving a main benefit – that’s 365,937 people, 18 percent more than a year ago. Of those, 201,303 were receiving Jobseeker Support (6.4 percent of the working-age population) – an increase of 32.7 percent from last year; 66,756 were receiving Sole Parent Support – an increase of 9.5 percent over last year; and 94,368 were receiving a Supported Living Payment for health conditions, injury or disability.

To be effective, welfare policy should have incentives to transition beneficiaries into work. But New Zealand has long lagged behind best practice – as the current situation, where well over 200,000 able-bodied people are on benefits at a time when the country is crying out for workers, demonstrates only too clearly. Many other countries are far more successful than we are in helping people off welfare – by tightening conditionality and introducing reciprocal obligations such as workfare schemes, time-limits on benefits, and wrap-around support programmes.

While various governments have attempted to eliminate the destructive ‘welfare trap’, opposition from social justice campaigners have largely prevented the sole parent benefit from becoming a pathway to a better future. As a result, the number of children trapped in long term welfare has continued to rise.

Statistics, of course, can be manipulated and in her informative article welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell outlines how, under the current hardship measures, as a society becomes poorer “fewer children will fall below the thresholds leading to an apparent improvement in child poverty. I’m sure that isn’t Labour’s intention. To make us all poorer to claim a reduction in child poverty – the PM’s flagship policy. Then again, she shows no alarm at the prospect of more children being on benefits as long as she can claim to have lifted them out of poverty.”

While more children on benefits will undoubtedly be the long-term impact of Jacinda Ardern’s benefit increases, in the short term, she will hope for an improvement in the statistics.

As the Herald’s political editor Claire Trevett explains, “Ardern now settles in for what could be a white-knuckle ride to find out if the extra $55 a week going into the pockets of beneficiaries with children actually makes a dent in child poverty. Ardern needed to increase benefits in the first Budget because she needed time for that cash injection to make some impact. The Families Package Labour delivered in 2017 was the big hit — but has so far had only a minor impact on child poverty. The latest boost on top of that may well answer the question about whether throwing money at a problem does, in fact, work. Ardern will be hoping that starts to show up in the statistics before the next election. To fail on this front would only add to the line that the Government has failed to deliver on a long string of promises: housing, transport projects, infrastructure and child poverty.”

During his budget announcement, Finance Minister Grant Robertson claimed the benefit increases were designed to reverse the damage caused by Ruth Richardson’s benefit cuts 30 years ago: “This Budget is set against the Budget delivered 30 years ago this year, the so-called ‘mother of all Budgets’… On the 30th anniversary of that Budget, our Government is undoing some of the damage done all those decades ago… We restore dignity and hope for those lowest-income New Zealanders by righting the wrong of those benefit cuts and by boosting main benefits by up to $55 per week.”

His statements were bizarre on a number of fronts.

If reversing the benefit cuts was as important as the Finance Minister implied, why hadn’t they been reversed during the twelve years Labour has been in office since that time? 

In reality, his statements were a cheap shot at National and a distraction from any critical analysis of the Prime Minister’s record on reducing child poverty. 

That’s certainly what National’s former Finance Minister Ruth Richardson thinks, describing the attack as a “predictable cheap shot, further reinforcing my point that the budget expenditure choices are driven more by politics than economics… My budget was driven by a desire to lift economic growth and to make employment attractive. Grant Robertson’s budget is overtly driven by politics and the desire to pay off Labour supporters… The tragedy of this approach is that it locks in intergenerational state dependency with benefits becoming more attractive than jobs.”

As an aside, according to a Stuff report of the ‘transcript’ of the budget speech the Prime Minister delivered in Parliament, Jacinda Ardern criticised the Richardson budget: “I remember the Mother of all Budgets. I was going on just 11 years old when it was introduced. On too many occasions in New Zealand’s history, the changes that leave an indelible mark on the next generation do so for the wrong reasons.”

The only problem is that, according to Parliament’s Hansard, the Prime Minister did not actually say that in her speech.

Perhaps Stuff received an advance copy of the PM’s speech but didn’t check it against what was actually delivered. This raises the question of whether all media received an advance copy, or whether it was only sent to a “favoured” few.

This question of media independence has assumed greater significance since the Government launched their new public interest journalism project, whereby $55 million in taxpayer funding will be allocated to media that meets specified criteria. This includes, “Actively promote the principles of Partnership, Participation and Active Protection under Te Tiriti o Waitangi acknowledging Maori as a Te Tiriti partner”.

Is this why the media are now inundating the public with Maori language, culture, and endless lies about the fabricated Treaty partnership – because they are being paid by this Government to do so?

How can this possibly be seen as anything but a corruption of media independence – turning what used to be our Fourth Estate into a Government propaganda machine.

It is truly disgraceful.

But back to the budget.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, Professor Robert MacCulloch of Auckland University, believes what is missing from the budget is any analysis of the thousands of productivity-destroying regulations that are undermining New Zealand’s economic growth:

“Last week the Labour government presented a neat, transparent itemized budgetary account detailing all of its various revenues and expenditures. The marketing and public relations behind the event has become impeccable, right down to the glossy brochures. Everything looks like it has been revealed. It most certainly has not. There are no measures of the number of rules that are presently being passed by central, let alone local, government. There has been no accounting of their net benefit to the country. Our regulatory superstructure becomes vastly more opaque, year upon year, as each successive government tries to control more and more of our behaviours. Although the catch-cry ‘fiscal responsibility’ is one that now strikes a chord with Finance Ministers, the catch-cry ‘regulatory responsibility’ does not.”

Professor MacCulloch is right. New Zealand is now hobbled by a controlling regime that is adding further costs on businesses, while entrenching state dependency.

Budget 2021 was pure politics: plenty of handouts for supporters, but lacking any vision or incentives to encourage enterprise or the creation of wealth.
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*Do you give Budget 2021 the thumbs up or thumbs down? 
Note: Please feel free to use the poll comments to share your views on any of the issues raised in this week’s newsletter.


*Poll comments are posted below.


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Disgraceful pandering to their voter base but not held accountable by the media who largely have been bought off … Dave
The country is in budgetary trouble and this budget only worsened our situation. tony
more debt no gain morris
A budget for the lowlifes .They will expect the state to look after them from cradle to grave, and this will happen under the tooth fairies leadership. Mike
She forgot the other large labour support group, pensioners. She did so at her peril. Richard
To quote Allan Duff he believes Welfare to Maori is a form of slavery So it’s ironic that on the one hand This labour government keep Maori enslaved with hand outs and welfare while all the while Making a pretense that they are aiming for 50/50 governance With them how does work Elaine
Trying to appeal to the no hopers and ignoring the people who want to advance in life Warren
The “re-distribution” turns out to be reducing everyone to the lowest common denominator & make as many as possible State dependent. bill
So the Marxist Ardern has a Budget to make her look good. Will someone please show New Zealanders she has a great deal of malevolence towards us and the country? Monica
Socialist apartheid NZ is drowning. We’re going downhill fast. Geoff
It’s time we all stood up to the destruction this Government is causing. None of us think this is ok but we do nothing but comment. It’s time to stop this dangerous women in the destruction of our beautiful New Zealand. I’m so sad with what is happening and glad I’m nearer to the end of my life than the beginning. Vivienne
There are many urgent questions to the performance of this Government. Obviously, many, many people are mystified as to what is really happening. Consider this angle: if we all have these valid sentiments to this failing, clearly committed team of indulgent socialists, then they’re all aware of exactly what is happening as well. And this is the point—exactly WHAT is happening? Ardern and her colleagues are involved in some esoteric manoeuvre, but who’s pulling the strings–who is really behind the scenes calling the critical shots? This party are serially failing on a number of counts and true to form, blaming previous Governments. It’s patently bizarre and sub childish, to refer levels of blame back some 30 years to a National budget, good or bad. Labour’s desperation is reaching neck level these days and they’ve got nearly two and a half years to go. Generally, most conditions are worsening–what then, is waiting in the wings to appear as their saviour and to restore anything like Political credibility? In essence, what’s next–what do they have left. And where will we be then, as a Sovereign Nation? Alan
It is an encouragement to not look for a job and to stay on the benefit . Barry
divisive obvious to any rational person living in the real world danny
Because I suffer from a strange and unusual disease of the mind. It is called “critical thinking”. Mark
A typical left wing budget — they are slowly getting their way and that is a Maori takeover aligned to Globalists dogma. Good to see the English have rejected the socialist Labour party who have dropped to 8%. They saw the writing on the wall — we should do the same. Linley
A poorly devised budget which encourages dependency. Liz
Dr Newman is dead right!!! Clyde
More and more with their snouts in the trough. When will they choke? Stuart
One set of numbers that are missing from information to the voter is the extent of the Debt borrowing to achieve this Socialist Utopia. We the voter should know enough to be able to plan our lives around the milestones of a nation now locked into self-destruction and firmly on a path to Venezuela! ie. When do we need to jump ship? Frederick
….an Insult to New Zealanders….Modern Day Slavery is well established Christopher
The current Government is dedicated to hurling money at anyone and anything that will win them votes – they are patronising a terrible, and potentially violent minority at the cost of democracy Bob
A disgracefully Race based budget Brian
Stupid on all counts, but if it gets the reaction from the supporters of the fairy godmother that all is well in New Zealand and she and she alone has saved the country from disaster, they probably have achieved the desired outcome. Bugger the rest of us. Barry
Jacinda knows nothing about building a economy just giving money away to her supporters and letting Maori take over. Eric
It is political – words not deeds – deceptive – and yes we are getting less and less productive and poorer and poorer as a result. Maurice
Haha,what a laugh this budget is. Its a Maori and Beneficiary s budget. What a sad pack of no hopes this lot are. Peter
Terrible. Nothing for middle New Zealand who are working hard. Tom
Makes and unapologetic socialism. Warren
This budget, like the one in 2023 will be, is unashameably barefaced VOTE buying campaign…!!! Beneficiary “Hand-outs” but nothing there to stimulate productivity in businesses sectors for future growth & development in NZ along with a chance to lower taxes for a short period to help trigger that process…!!! Instead, spend, spend, spend on a ‘reward’ for Labour’s voters, who must surely be starting to doubt their decision of vote for a ‘smiling’ PM who campaigned all the way thru COVID LOCKDOWN & again recently on Seven Sharp TV1 after the Budget. The worse factor to contemplate is we still have 2.5 years more of this tyrannical, raging socialistic, totalitarian bordering on communistic Govt…..!!! Bruza
What else could be expected from an extreme Marxist / Socialist government. This budget was not a surprise. Anything promoting free enterprise, or productivity would have been. And the polls [ if they are genuine ] show the dumb down population are loving it.. A.G.R.
This budget is further promoting dependency on the state from our group of lazy work able people. No wonder we rely on so many migrant workers who have work ethics. Graeme
A disgraceful waste of taxpayers hard earned dollars from a government that denigrates our farmers that produce much of the wealth. The same government that cozy’s up to the gangs within our communities. Power at any cost as long somebody else is paying for it. Lee
I am one of as group that consciously is running our businesses to minimize the amount that gets skimmed to Wellington Hugh
This current government has absolutely no idea. Just a bunch of incompetent socialists. It’s unbelievable they still have the support of so many supposedly intelligent sheeples…… Dave
Such blatant dishonesty, but what are we doing? Dell H
more money to feed into Apartheid NZ Tom
now this current govt , has proven it’s intent of a fully communist agenda . Roy
The budget was hopeless. Not designed to meet the requirements of” setting us up for the future”. Our media are absolutely appalling in analyzing and reporting it. In fact, after watching a re cent media interview with Judith Collins, our media are like a pack of hungry wolves, totally disinterested in anything except Maori partnership. Wow, how did we come to this? Janine
If I were to take 50 years off my age I would think, wonderful, I don’t have to work – the silly government will give me money to do nothing. Fiona
Destroy the Family unit, Destroy the Farmers, The Landlords, the land owners…..Pure Marxism. Add to that the crushing of wages, the Equal pay ……and the constant re purposing of language and we have 1984 as per one George Orwell. Lionel
No good!! Socialists are big at throwing money at things ( other peoples money) until they run out of money. Blatantly obvious is that all that money acts as a huge band aid covering up the festering sore of decades long welfare dependency. AND –breeding generations of people with a perverted sense of entitlement . Michael
Words fail me! Maddi
Where is the help for Business Brian
divisive, welfare dependency will further destroy NZ’s underlying productivity Geoff
I am a beneficiary. I never wanted to be. I think people should have a living wage/income if they struggle to work. Also, rather than being angry about separation between Maori and Pakeha/whites why not say sure, be separate and pay for your own beneficiaries. Isn’t that what this issue is all about. Stephan
The budget does not have any incentives to get people off the dole and back to work. Giving them more more keeps them on the dole. Frank
A re-election plan based on splash the taxpayers’ cash. John
The Maori housing budget is an insult and expense to all tax/rate paying NZers as councils and government have written off rates on huge areas of Maori land and I can guarantee that Mr Robertson has not written into this housing budget that Maori have to pay rates on this gift from the 85% majority stolen from us from the avaricious Maori elite. Brenda
Thumb down. The huge number of decisions made on changes be made which weren’t consulted on or mentioned in the election manifesto, the offer to Maoris to form NZ’s new government, the record breaking deficit and borrowing, the offer to Maoris to own our beaches and coastal area thus depriving Kiwis of our recreation areas, the new offer to enjoy a life of leisure on the dole. the million a day to pay for people who can’t be bothered finding a house to live for free in a motel and wreck it, and the late night sittings of Parliament to pass laws under urgency and with no time for submissions so that the population doesn’t twig what rights are being removed from democracy. Chris
It doesn’t incentivise those on benefits to get into the workforce nor to limit the number of children they have & can’t afford at a cost to the workforce’s taxes. Peter
Bludgers budget targeting the lowest possible denominator to maintain a dubious voter base. Frank
$ for beneficiaries who won’t work, but cut the pension for oldies who HAVE worked dave
This budget was little more than a vote buying gamble. An extremely rash set of hand outs of borrowed money which future generations will have to repay. More unnecessary handouts to Iwi radicals who simply squander it. When will these so called “Treaty” settlements be finished ???? Graeme
I am horrified to be reminded, by your article, about the changes to welfare over the last 30 years… Sydney
The fox is in the hen house. Robert
Stupid!!!! Alan
Sick of working my ass off while so many around me me are paid to do nothing with no expectation of accountability. These folks aren’t the minority and it is a lifestyle choice…never mind that they are unemployable. Carol
More socialist wealth redistribution, penalising the productive sector. Willy
Entitlement is out of control Raymond
They have to be stopped somehow before they destroy our country, but how? Just another nail in the coffin of NZ Roy
Watch out New Zealand. We are being deluged with Maori language, culture, Maorification of Government departments and endless lies about the fabricated Treaty partnership. I’m sick of it. We are being brainwashed to numbness with this propaganda. Not only the adults either. Its our children too with white privilege nonsense and deliberate gender fluidity confusing messaging. This is madness we must not give in to. Robert
This latest budget does nothing to promote Wellbeing. That comes with hard work, going out and looking for a job and being prepared to start small, not expect the level of living that comes after 50 years of hard work. Paloma
Far too much money wasted for voter support. David
Parts of it are just plainly wrong. Kevin
You should not be surprised – dismayed, yes, but not surprised – that this government is increasing the level of benefits for the unemployed. As a class, they are the most staunch supporters of this party for a very good reason… as George Bernard Shaw said. “The government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” This is their undeclared policy, has been for 4 years now and will be forever until we vote them out, or they totally destroy the society of this country and leave us in a Stone Age shambles. Wake up New Zealand! TOBY
Bunch of idiots Jenny
Bureaucracy in NZ is going mad and will kill all iniative for growth and stability of NZ Brian
Absolute rubbish. Only any good if you are a beneficiary and don’t like working. Great to see that they are showing their true colours with the Mainstream Propaganda Machine. Terry
Pensioners totally ignored. Huge increase to non working people on benefits will only encourage many to remain on such benefits John
I give Budget 2021 a Thumbs Down. Not only is there no intent to give incentive to young people to work for a living, there is no intent within this government to consider doing that. Let’s be realistic Concerned Kiwi’s, the intention of this government is to destroy the way of life this country has enjoyed over many decades. Grahame
Creating more generationally dependent people, this has to be the worst thing any Government can do, and this Government is the worst possible, that this country has ever had. Heather
Agree completely with this analysis .The day of reckoning is on the horizon! Richard
The Titanic has just left Port. Geoff
Completely agree with your analysis Steve
Your analysis is all very very chilling indeed–control by stealth Max
To much emphasize on matters for Maori& Bludgers on benefits Ian
Bloody useless Labour government lead by a total useless show pony. Carl
Where is the money coming from and who is paying it back? Kris
Vote buying budget that does nothing to support business, growth or independence. Gary
Socialism is on the up and up Catherine
Absolutely nothing in it for working middle-class New Zealand (if there is much of a middle class left), and increases dependency on the state. We will end up owning much less and the state will tell us we are happy. Gavin
NZ is heading for Dunce Land with Jacinda and Labour at the helm. Dave
this govt has shown how bribery and corruption is getting stronger every day with payments to the media so they don’t report or ask difficult questions that shows labour in a bad light and millions to a bunch of no hopers who don’t want to work and now certainly don’t need to now with all the handouts that the toothy fairy has and will continue to give out so she can be worshiped by all the no hopers Richard
NZ needs more tax-paying workers, NOT more state-supported beneficiaries. We need WORKERS not dole recipients. Carl
Wake up NZ. Get informed! This welfare dependency is part of the communist plan, just as the indoctrination of our kids is,band the run down of our health system, and and overburdened with debt. Comrade Ardern is a communist ( not just a socialist) and we are watching the slow destruction of our country, just as is happening in America, Canada, France, Gt Britain where, for some reason, our leaders want us under communist rule. Not sure how we can stop this rot as we have 2-1/2 more years for Ardern to carry out instructions from the UN. As for her bribing the media with taxpayer money, to conform to her wishes, this is so blatant that it leaves me speechless and disgustedly! Carolyn
Collecting voters for next election already? Martyn
I think it’s a bit disingenuous of Dr Newman to keep repeating that benefits have increased by $55 when they haven’t. Yes, I’m aware she means over the term of the budget, but the reality, is that benefits have not increased at all, and will go up by $20 in July. As much as I enjoy her column, I feel this has been deliberately misleading. You’re better than that. Bob
This “budget” is a blatant form of bribery, and it’s not even election year yet. Andrew
They won’t be in power when the S–t hits the fan. This budget was entirely about making NZ dependent on the State for their existence. Criminal negligence with Tax payers money Frank
No incentives for beneficiaries to take up the thousands of jobs on offer right now. Glyn
Not sure whether my previous vote was counted Bev
Blatently Socialist Colin
Apart from the video aspect of the project below, this Government and this budget is the answer to the question of how to make NZ to fail. Ted
Bribery Colin
This was Grunt’s very own “shovel-ready projects”. On Enid’s instructions, he shovelled out shiploads of your and my money to Labour’s mates. Philip
Just more glossy packaged socialist bribery for votes Peter
Politics(no jobs) and no economics. David
Totally agree with Dr Newman’s statements. Patently true. Graeme
Absolutely disgusting. Martin
All benefits will be wiped out with the Capital Gains Tax to come soon !! Pierre
To think we are being forced into paying for this lot of nimbies to drag the country into communism, Ardern can dress it up as much as she likes but she is a communist, claiming to be a socialist is just another big fat lie, something she is very well versed at lying. The sooner the press goes down the tubes it will be a really good day. Merryl
Where are the new houses? Although an increase in welfare payments will be good for some, where are new job schemes? With growers and farmers etc. crying out for workers, why can’t there be some scheme to use local (unemployed) people? Not enough real help (jobs, houses etc.) getting through. Sheila
The more you do for people – the more you do to them No one is being served by the handouts, they won’t go where they’re needed and the same people will have their hand out for more in 2 years time. Jacinda will only look at it as making them more dependant on the State – her Socialism to the fore as usual sheryl
Once again the Hard working middle class are working their butts off paying taxes for NO reward or relief from this so leftist present Govt. Get them off their benefits and make them go back into the work force . Wayne
Robertson’s budget isn’t a budget. A Budget is supposed to spend the available funds to improve the quality of spend in order to generate more productivity and wealth and improve the standard of living as a result of incentivised productivity. Robertson’s spending spree does none of those things. It is as you so rightly point out, payolla for the followers and it incentivises sycophantic devotion by all the worst facets of human nature, whilst kicking sand in the face of the best facets of human nature. This Labour Government punishes enterprise, productivity and personal responsibility and rewards indolence, bludging and dependency. It’s a disgrace and treasonous all round. dianna
very, very far down!! Helen
The Bludget 2021. Coral
I have a family member who has not worked for years. WINZ have not contacted him for 18 months and he is ‘cruising along’ watching TV and doing nothing to add anything to NZ. I feel ashamed. DICK
All budgets are political but this one is the worst I have seen. Richard
This budget will only place working Kiwis with more cost increases due to inflation and the extra benefit that will be handing out will be gobbled up with increases in the cost of living. So the overall effect will be no increase in the standard of living for those on a benefit and more of those going on the doll as their will be no incentive to work .The economy will suffer as more employers struggle to find workers .This budget will increase unemployment and stall economic growth. ken
Budgets are supposed to tell you how much money the State owes, what is the annual cost & how the debt will be repaid? Not a mention. John
More labour propaganda and feeding their own Bev
How can you expect a constructive budget from a group of people who do not understand what their responsibilities are and who additionally tell lies at every turn Tom
This Labor Party is losing the plot more and more each week. I can’t turn on the news anymore for fear of uncontrollable rage at their antics and lies. Mike
Most definitely thumbs down for the Robertson budget! Any government that fosters voter dependency upon itself will ultimately achieve total control over its subjects. Unconditional majority rule democracy, gives people the power to vote away their freedom. WE NEED A CONSTITUTION THAT LIMITS THE POWER OF GOVERNMENT WHILE SECURING PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS. WITHOUT PROPERTY RIGHTS, NO OTHER RIGHTS ARE POSSIBLE. Don
typical Labour Graeme
Typical socialist budget. Reward those who don’t contribute to society and ignore those who do through working and paying tax Laurie
Everyone loves a free hand out, if I was not in the position I am in I might be hooked into voting for them, how to address that fact that people are quite happy to do nothing but still think it is all right to get a free hand out, if there is an answer that answer it is slipping away very fast, the young ones coming up are already compromised, all we can do it watch it unfold like a butterflies wings, we will then know what we have brought into including the young people, will we have the stomach and back bone to cut the wings off, I don’t think so by then we will all be compliant and do what we are told to do, as our Dear leader stated last year don’t worry we will look after you. sven
another lolly scramble for the shirkers Erin
Very definitely thumbs down. I am 81yrs old and I all My life have never felt so frightened for the future of this country. It is time Maori recognised their pakeha side too Gail
I was utterly depressed watching the Budget unfold after a ‘Wellbeing’ Budget in 2019, followed by the COVID Budget in 2020 and the latest ‘Wellbeing’ Budget this time round. A complete lack of inspiration for hard working New Zealanders but a lovely lolly scramble for the ever-increasing volume of people and groups with their hands out but little or no intention of contributing. Where is the funding for innovation, for businesses trying to keep this country afloat or for people working multiple jobs to retain their dignity and contribute to New Zealand? Does this Government even understand where taxes come from and that tax-payers are fed up with being asked to pay, pay and pay again with no recognition of the effort they are putting in? Soon, we will be like Haiti, where only 2% of the population pay taxes and more and more New Zealanders will leave these shores. Lots of people with value to add will simply leave New Zealand as will I and I’ll bring as many productive people with me as I can as it won’t be worth staying behind if this is where we are headed. Lou
It gets more and more attractive to sit on the couch all day instead of actually working and being productive. Mark
A lolly scramble is the best way I can describe it. I wonder what other goodies will be given out at the pre-election budget to entice voters to Labour. Dennis
typical allan
The Left and our 15% group (part-Maori) are being rewarded, again, at everyone else’s expense. Shameless. Barry
Frightening,I worry for my children and grandchildren. Keith
All of it comes down to mirrors, and you know what a mirror does. It reflects what you believe you see. william
bloody socialists , driving a separatist agenda. They have turned the Maoris into racists. Colin
Absolute shit budget. Was there any thing in it for the pensioners. NO. Does the Government care for pensioners. NO. Graham
We are going to borrow 3 billion to give to people who contribute very little to the economy. Budget is a big negative!!!! Les
just another bunch of commie bullshit eric
A hand out and not a hands up where nothing appeared to support economic growth to help our economy! Joe
This budget will give more economically astute voters the reason to return to the National/Acts fold Bruce
Useless Mag
There is little growth creation in the budget that will increase productivity, while the increases in non-productive areas will see inflation – coupled with the increase in laws and union power will disincentivise productivity thereby creating a stagflationary spiral. Brenton
The workers are ignored. They must be so grumpy! Megan
This is dreadful budget and one that will have terrible effects on our country. Roger
left wing and almost communistic John
Over the years we seen Governments come & go the sooner this lot go the the better for NZ Ross
It is guaranteed to make the country worse off both economically and socially. No chance of the socialist drongos ever learning. Peter
Nothing in it for superannuitants. Too much for beneficiaries and Maori. Gary
Hopeless Garry
NZ has got major problems for the future generations graeme
Don’t disagree with the increases, but they should not be in cash, rather vouchers limiting where they can be cashed and on what. Mark
Unbelievable that the spending for political reasons continues Joan
It,s a CRIME so many people are on benefits while employers are crying out for workers & my neighbour said if anyone turns up they are so unexceptable as they are either stinking of alchol or still stoned on drugs OUR taxes are being used for. LOOK a up TANUI IWI,,s WORTH & you,ll see they are WELL OVER 1 & 1/2 BILLION, ALL the treaty settlements money is sent to tanui iwi to hold,after getting $300 million so maori living in shacks can have decent houses built (so we are told) NOTHING HAPPENS as if it did maori would not be able to get the media etc to photo the shacks they live in so tanui iwi gets that $300 million to hold,maraes dont set up medical centres or medical centres where they are needed so maori can claim there,s no health centres for them & once again they get tax payers money to set up health centres (which are never done) jacinda & labour mp,s NEVER ask questions but beleive all maori say.ALOT of the atrocities they say happened DID,NT,what they did to settlers is NEVER asked or acnoledged.maori are NOT INDIGENOUS they came to NZ in canoes/wakas & stoled others tribes land,murdered ETC but it,s NEVER acknoleged,they were NOT peaceful like they claim,someone with the guts ask mp,s in the maori party & maori mp,s in labour would they give up their cars,houses etc to live like their ancestors did & where did alot of them get educated a WHITE UNIVERSATY OR SCHOOL maoris never had & would ONLY the elite like BLACK LIVES MATTER elites live in luxery while their foot soldiers continue to remain poor,you,v seen in USA what happens when you defund the police already crime in NZ is out of control but the green,s/maori party want the police gone(the police used to be independant but now labour controls them) it seems you can do ANYTHING NOW & claim mental health so people if you want to do anything do it & claim mental health no-one checks up so anyone can do what they like now . I,d advise any-one who can leave NZ as it seems jacinda is giving NZ away to maori & united nations. Cindy
No plan of how to get the Country back on its feet Tony
A massive thumbs DOWN. I find it hard to believe that all the Labour politicians can be so blind to the total damage they are doing to our country. They must go and the sooner we can save our land. Bruce
This is the most racially dividing budget and government NZ has ever had in control of the country, actually they have no idea how to lead a country. Very scary!! Denise
It is a winner for me as I am 78 years old however for the country a disaster Andrew
The Maori Budget Jim
A disgrace and counter productive. How to buy votes for a socialist government. It will have ramifications on our economy for years to come. chris
Same thing needs to happen to this Budget and its’ creators, as happened to a defeated gladiator in Ancient Rome when he got the thumbs down! Scott
Fair budget Kevin
Purely political. Making benefits more attractive to stay on them. More money for gambling addictions, booze and unwise choices. Thomas
It’s inequitable too: us elderly parents on super with dependant children are not treated equally. Kevin
It only benefits labour supporters Maurice
Clearly an attempt to buy votes in the next election!!! Denise
Nothing there for middle income workers whose taxes help pay for these benefit increases. Eileen
Pathetic reinforcement of Welfare Dependency Jeff
It does nothing for productivity in this country Tony
You put things so clearly Muriel. The truth oozes from your writings. My take on the budget is clear, it is a matter of ABC, Absolute Bl–dy Corruption. Neil
bloody dreadfull and us working nz builders are paying for their socolist theft of our hard gained savings to give it to their bribed voter base seamore and national need to get in to bed formally in a grand coalition stating that they will overturn every bad decicion ,,give the people some bloody clarity and youll get the votes tony
Lacks clear vision Ross
More government ineptitude Gareth
I can see the results of dependency on benefits. I have never seen so many in the community openly drinking and behaving in an anti social manner day in day out. They need work not hand outs. Stephen
Incentives to encourage unemployed into work is vital if we are to operate as a productive society . Robin
The worst and most dangerous budget i have ever seen in my 70 plus years. Children are now CHOOSING to go straight onto the dole when they leave school, because THEY SIMPLY DONT NEED TO WORK. There are many job opportunities for anyone who really wants to work, but this crap government are gaining more control over those who will never want to work for a living in their lives, by buying them off with tax payer money. THEN, there’s the BILLION DOLLARS JUST FOR MAORI ….. WHY. This government makes me vomit! Des
No incentive for growth in economy whatsoever Ivan
A predictable dependancy budget Merv
Printing money is inflationary. Inflation destroys the savings of those ordinary people who have gone through their working lives and saved a little for a “rainy” day. Given this governments attitude to savers, why save? No savings will, of course, lead to great welfare dependency in the future and more speculative investment with the accompanying risk attached. Alastair
Labour wants more poor, dependant voters, because they vote Labour and Greens. Alan
Seems Labour is now believing its own propaganda!! Ian
Why doesn’t the Media publish more of this so all New Zealanders can see what is happening to our country Alan
A government that cares more for its votes than its voters shows no responsibility at all Paul
Too much to the free loaders. The older I get, the more I am persuaded by Paul’s comments in his second letter to the Thessolonians, Ch 6, vv6. Anthony
If NZ was a business, the Finance director (Robertson) would have been relegated to either making the Tea or filing clerk, for producing a “budget” as pathetic as this one. gary
This Govt is putting as many people as it can onto dependancy not into work Michael
No understanding of what produces productivity growth and wealth generation John
This budget is blatant bribery much like the free student loan initiative that has ballooned so far out of control is. It has locked government taxpayer funded welfarism as a career choice and way of life for the tardy forever, Max
Raising Benefits will not end poverty but only create more dependency. Don
Does nothing to plan a path forward that will increase prosperity , it is a sop to their committed faithful peter
Poverty budget: Incentive not to work, dependency on mommy government, dismantling of private ownership. Communism here we come. Martin
Work is gratifying, laziness is a drug Keith
Nothing to promote new business and therefore leading to more jobs to lift people out of welfare. A continuation of welfare dependency! Martin
Any budget with race based funding gets a thumbs down from me. Kelvin
A very communist budget Robbie
The first of many overtly Socialist budgets. Intended like Biden’s actions, t kill enterprise and rely on the state. John
Vote buying is all it is about. Allan
It’s an absolute disgrace and I think you have summed up the dishonesty of this government and also the media who should be ashamed of their bias. Pauline
this Budget will do nothing to get business and the economy moving forward. In fact it stifles people from going to WORK. FAILURE Labour….. Carl
The lack of focus on growing the economy and thereby being able to pay back debt plus make a better standard of living for all New Zealanders was missing – this Govt has no understanding of the bigger picture! I also hate the fact that Maori and all the rest of us are being treated so differently – I no longer feel that I fit into my own country! Glenda
no trust in govt david
Worst ever that I can recall. Donald
Just Sin d’Apartheid is adept at only one thing – namely hiding her pure malevolence behind a toothy smile. Tony
terrible budget norman
The government mismanages the economy, causing costs to rise, then increases benefits to compensate. Of course, it doesn’t worry about wages or the businesses that pay them. Socialist governments seem to think that the State generates wealth and by increasing taxes, costs and regulations on the private sector we can all end up equally wealthy. In reality, we all end up equally poor – this budget does that in spades! Derek
NO! Country is stuffed with this mob…. Bruce
Socialist government continuing to trap and control people by drip feeding money. Darryl
The 2021 Budget actively discourages people to go out to work. Adhern is f0llowing the same practice as USA and Biden Administration. Caren
Back, back , back. No forward thinking. Who is going to dig us out of this mess. Douglas
Having worked since I was 16 and now retired it sickens me to see tax money wasted to extremes especially to people who are able yet not willing to work Alan
This socialist government is beyond belief. Why can they not see that increasing the benefit is going to give so many less incentive to find work. Also those on a benefit are increasing while many employers can’t get enough workers. It just doesn’t make sense. This is the worst budget for a long time. Helen
where is accountability and self responsibility. just waiting for handouts is difficult & gutless. Show some spine and do for oneself. mike
Driving more people to dependency Loraine
This Labour govts destruction of the will to live is getting worse Richard
She’s buying people. Sheena
Disgraceful worthless state expenditure that goes a long way to enslaving future generations and burdening them with unsustainable debt. The endless borrowing to sustain this welfare system will bite sooner rather than later and high inflation coupled with increasing interest rates could well cripple the country in the near future. Alas … a tragedy unfolds! Bryan
The budget is payback to Labors socialist buddies. This Govt. is destroying this country, divide and conquer by maori radicals is the name of the game. Sam
Encouraging State Dependency only degrades those who fall under its control, denies them the chance to better their lives and Improve the poor conditions their families are living under . Child poverty escalates under this system and will never reduce while the parents are not incentivised to go out and energetically seek work. Receiving handouts does not have the same encouragement as getting out there, achieving at a simple job and create the satisfaction of actually earning the income that makes your life worthwhile and satisfying. Living on benefits only encourages low morale, boredom, and poor living conditions, and no quality of life, or indeed anything to strive or look forward to for young persons with their future in front of them. They have no future ! Robyn
Pretty much anything a rabid bunch of socialist opportunists do gets a negative from me. But I am biased. I believe in working for wages, getting educated and honesty in my dealings with other people. Not characteristics one observes in most of these dropkicks receiving payouts for doing nothing. Charles
I’m over it, this government has ruined the country while the complacent just sit back and watch someone with some initiative should organise a huge protest in every city in New Zealand this needs righting immediate Peter
Typical Labour budget Lawrie
More hand outs stolen in the form of taxes from hard working kiwis Brett
Once again slamming middle NZ Terry
Another pro racists budget. How do we get action started to fight He Puapua? The letters etc complaining about it will not suffice. A call to action is required, BUT how do we do this? Alan
Increased income tax top rate to give to beneficiaries so they can remain dependent. Socialism at its worst. JD
Why has &750 million going to MAORI housing. What about the rest of the community Cath
Regrettably not surprising Robertsons budget but hopefully with the Govts track record of inability to execute some of it won’t take place by the time we have a chance to rid ourselves of them Phil
At a time when NZ desperately needed reasoned thinking for a way forward out of this economic sinkhole we are now in all Labour does is use it for political expediency. They need to resign before NZ becomes Zimbabwe Carolyn
Labour and it’s council’s don’t know the meaning of the word budget nor do they recognize ethics. Christine
Vote buying using tax-payer money. The financial cost to Taxinda and her cronies is zero. They are earning a salary for destroying our economy and culture. Shame on them! Who will have the guts to challenge and reverse the damage they are causing? I don’t see anyone on the horizon! martin
You are so correct, I love your information, it’s so true. Peter
Cash splash We need infrastructure – lots of it – especially roads Don
Loser for racists Greg
Promoting dole bludgers melahi
Its so naive but what else from people that have never lived in the real world David
A lolly scramble for polynesian minorities. Those who do the least get the most. Peter
We now find that core Government debt is $110 billion dollars and additional debt to Government departments that is undisclosed is another $13 billion with the intention that it will rise to $25 billion in the next 3 years. Obviously State workers will be required to undergo austerity measures in their wages and funding of their particular sector. All this from a PM who seems to who only worked in a fish and chip shop in her only non institutionalised employment. Straight from school to uni to Government department does not inspire confidence despite setting records on what they are spending on professional advice. Terry
People should realise that an election (democratically made) should be for the term of the parliament and not just short term. This could lead to ” I won’t vote at the next election because I can get them out anyway” Gary
Thumbs down big time! At a time when the country needs jobs and growth, Labour is entrenching welfare dependency. It’s socialism through and through. Unbelievable! Roger
The budget was payback to the unions and left wing supporters. But nothing to improve the outlook for the country.  Ed
So why is Labour making benefits more generous when there are already 200,000 on the dole and the country is crying out for workers? It doesn’t make any sense at all. Stuart
Deeping the dependency trap is disgraceful. Surely the PM understands that a job is the very best way to help people improve their lives. There are lots of ways to help people struggling into jobs, but once they are established, both they and their children have far better prospects than if they were stuck in the benefit system. Can’t Labour see that??? Jane
This budget is pure politics aimed at rewarding left wing voters. So much for governing for ALL New Zealanders!  Bryan