Local MP’s weigh in on new budget

The Government’s first Budget came out yesterday and the Times reached out to our local MP’s Simeon Brown and Jami-Lee Ross to see what they thought of where money has been allocated. 

Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross and Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown say the Government’s first budget breaks a few promises Labour originally made on the campaign trail.

“We aren’t surprised by the Budget that was delivered today,” Ross says. “The spending priorities are very different from what locals in east Auckland would expect.”

The normal “sweet spots” for a Labour Government are health and education, he says.

“What we have seen though are broken promises in the health sector around the Labour Party’s promises on universally reducing the cost of doctors visits and on funding increases.

“Labour is providing less of a funding increase than National did last year.”

Ross says in education the flagship policy of fees free education has done nothing to lift tertiary education attendance and fewer students are projected to take up tertiary education in the next year.

“Budgets are about prioritising spending. While the likes of an almost one billion dollars for diplomats has managed to make the cut, other key areas have not.”

Ross says he believe the country hoped for more, and will be disappointed.

Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown the Budget 2018 is one of more tax, more borrowing and more spending, with little regard for economic growth or hard-working New Zealanders.

“Budget 2018 is full of broken promises and is a real slap in the face for middle class families in Pakuranga who are working hard, paying tax, and trying to get ahead.

“Not only will they be missing out on National’s legislated tax changes, they will be receiving less Government services while paying more tax,” he says.

Brown says the budget fails to deliver on several campaign promises such as no universal cheaper doctor’s visits, fewer extra police than the 1800 they said they would deliver, and a health budget that commits less money than National did last year.

“Middle-income families in Pakuranga will be left hurting from this Budget, and those struggling to survive will now find it even harder,” he says referring to tax increases that are set for later this year.

“Spending money is easy. Good government is about ensuring New Zealanders have access to public services that deliver results – more police to protect our communities, more hospital operations and quality healthcare options, and our children doing better at school.”

“This is simply the same old Labour – throw money at the problem and hope it goes away, with no thought for the future or on delivering actual results for all New Zealanders.”