This week, the Government released its Budget 2019.
This Botched Budget was not only proclaiming to be one of wellbeing, but also one of delivery. However, all it's promising to deliver, is an increase in our taxes towards funding rail, the defence force and trees.
Other taxes further driving up the cost of living will include:
- $71 million tax on anyone using their mobile phone overseas
- $57 million workplace levy on businesses
- $80 million tourist tax that will deter tourism and hurt Kiwi businesses
- $360 million in petrol taxes
It certainly will not be delivering for our economy and the wellbeing of our businesses.
Nor will it be delivering for improved quality and safety of our roads either, a top issue from Cambridge to Turangi with consequences being a spike in road fatalities.
For National, a real wellbeing Budget would prioritise front line services in Health and Education, Infrastructure and take steps to help address rising cost of living for New Zealanders.
Instead, the additional $1 billion allocated to KiwiRail including $375 million for new wagons and locomotives strongly signals that this Government is confused about their priorities.
It cares less about our state highways in dire need of safety improvements here in the Taupo electorate, as it does about shiny new locomotives.
In fact, this Government is spending more on trains than they are even planning to do on mental wellbeing of our communities.
While it's great to see mental health receiving a deserved funding boost, this Government has yet to sufficiently address some of the underlying problems affecting mental health and wellbeing of our people, like a lack of housing leading to homelessness and a lack of meaningful, sustainable income.
At the same time, this Government has made it easier for people to go on the benefit and staying on it by doing away with sanctions for those who don't meet their obligations.
We should be supporting people into work, where they can earn more and have a better chance at a quality life, not supporting them to go on the benefit and then stay there.
There is further no new money for midwives or the free GP visits they promised or for Pharmac and life saving cancer drugs.
Even our teachers will feel hard done by through the Government’s priorities expressed through this year’s Budget 2019 announcements. They’ve certainly shown their dissatisfaction by announcing yet another strike too, for Tuesday next week and many weeks there after!
Finance Minister Grant Robertson said his Coalition Government’s Budget 2019 will be transformational. Most will say it’s a real disappointment.
National will continue to work hard and hold this Government to account over the next year for their poor decisions today. The concerns you have raised with me in our community have definitely not been addressed.
I look forward to seeing you at one of our Post Budget Forums in June where you can hear more about how this year's Budget will affect you, your family and our local businesses. Onwards and upwards.
- 10 June - South Waikato Events Centre, Mossop Road, Tokoroa, 5:30pm
- 17 June - Onyx, 70 Alpha Street, Cambridge, 7:30am
- 17 June - Dixie Browns, 38 Robert Street, Taupo, 5:30pm