Out of touch with New Zealand

by Matt King, Member of Parliament for Northland

The government’s so-called ‘Wellbeing Budget’ is a stunning document — and not in a good way.

Not for me. Not for you. Moreover, I suggest, not for the majority of New Zealanders.

Therein, I suggest, lies the problem. The vast majority of New Zealanders have, for the most part, been marginalised by this budget.

They have missed out and been bypassed by a government that is consistently failing to address the big problems and the concerns of middle-class New Zealanders — education, health, law and order.

This government’s thoughts and priorities lie elsewhere, and the proportional spend reflects that. Of the operational spend, education gets $14.3 billion, health is slightly better at $18.3 billion, law and order get a paltry $4.6 billion, and social security and welfare get a whopping $28.9 billion.

Nobody would dispute that there are some very real welfare problems in this country and it’s probably churlish to point out that they are increasing under this government. Nevertheless, the government has sought to address those. Good on them.

There are also huge and growing problems for the great majority of New Zealanders, which this government and this budget have seemingly forgotten, or more likely, are content to leave in the too-hard basket.

Problems such as escalating rents, vociferous taxes and let me say it; a government that seems to be displaying dangerous levels of incompetency.

No, this is not a budget that shows a government in touch with the major issues. It is not even a budget that shows a government in touch with New Zealand.

It is a budget that is little more than, well, being something that may be portrayed as rather visionary on the world stage (where this government seems to like to stride) but does very little for us back home.