Budget reactions

Opposition parties have been left floundering after the budget delivers a bit for most people, and quite as lot for many families.

Labour have predictably criticised the budget but have not said whether they would leave the tax changes in place if they take over government later in the year.

Dene Mackenzie: Nearly everyone wins

National has done its best to buy Labour out of the September 23 election by delivering a Budget which has something for nearly everyone.

Those to benefit from this Budget stretch from students, to couples with children, low-income earners in Queenstown, every taxpayer through to pensioners.

Increased spending, much more than expected, left only New Zealand First leader Winston Peters sounding  enraged about the state of the nation.

Labour leader Andrew Little issued a one-page press release, which could have been read as a white flag of surrender, and Green Party co-leader James Shaw spent his entire speech talking about a lot of what-ifs and calling for a change in government.

The Government is not likely to change unless Labour and the Greens can provide some sort of counter to the growing economic strength of the country’s finances which allowed Finance Minister Steven Joyce to use his first Budget to spend up large in the areas that count: lifting incomes by changing tax thresholds, increasing Working for Family entitlements, increasing accommodation allowances and providing extra spending on health.

Importantly for voters in Auckland and Wellington, large amounts of money will be spent on ailing infrastructure including the Wellington commuter rail link.

RNZ: Budget boost only a ‘slight change’ for the struggling

A single mother on a minimum wage who lives in a state house in Auckland says changes announced in yesterday’s budget would only make a small difference to her life.

A full-time glasshouse worker, she pockets about $560 a week and pays $149 rent to Housing NZ.

Under changes to the tax threshold and Working for Families in the new Budget, she worked out she would bring home an extra $28.50 a week, $1,480 a year.

That sounds like a quite significant increase for someone on that level of earning, with a very low rent for Auckland.

Budgets can’t be lotto for everyone.

Brian Fallow (NZH): The better than nothing Budget

It is the better than nothing Budget. Steven Joyce has hardly thrown fiscal caution to the winds.

Neither should he, what an odd comment.

It would have been intolerable for the Government to crow about how well the economy is doing and project ever fatter surpluses and falling debt to GDP ratios while doing nothing about the pressure on the finances of lower- and middle-income families.

Both the increases to the income tax thresholds and the changes to Working for Families tax credits are overdue.

Liam Dann (NZH): Budget a ‘healthy’ lolly scramble

It maintained the “no surprises, steady as she goes” strategy that we’ve seen for the past eight years even as it delivered a few wholesome treats and rewards to the electorate.

The risk, of course, is that this kind of centrist approach will get little love from either side of the political spectrum.

But Prime Minister Bill English and Finance Minister Steven Joyce aren’t the kind of parents to risk over exciting the kids with a mad sugar rush. They promised nothing radical and they delivered it.

Critics will talk about election-year bribes but the narrative from National will be that we did the hard yards, we’ve built a surplus and now we get to invest back into the economy.

Audrey Young (NZH) Audrey Young: Budget has something for everyone

Starting at the low end means everyone gets something.

It is an election year Budget because almost every household gets something.

Some of the increases are huge especially in the accommodation supplement.

That reflects the biggest failure of the Government, in failing to control housing cost.

This Budget puts far greater weight on infrastructure spending than previous ones, although that was foreshadowed in December when Bill English was still Finance Minister.

Stuff: $20 extra for students ‘reasonable’

Laura Robinson says the $20 bump to the student accommodation benefit is good news for those who qualify.

Stuff: Budget a mixed bag

Budget 2017 has no major tax shake-up for average Manawatu families.

stuff: Budget will ‘cost Kiwi lives’

Patients and healthcare workers complain that Budget 2017 has left them frustrated and disappointed.

Max Rushbrooke (Stuff): A Government trying to make up for past neglect

In today’s Budget the Government seems to be playing the role of a parent who, after years of providing minimal support, turns up at their child’s birthday party bearing presents and hoping to be showered with praise.

There is, admittedly, much to commend in the Budget, for what it does to support New Zealanders and to increase fairness: the $321 million package for “social investment”, focused on mental health; the major boost to Working for Families that will raise payments by up to $26 a week per child; the lift in the accommodation supplement that gives low-income people $25-$75 extra a week to offset housing costs; and so on.

And the Government did last year increase benefits for those with children by $25 a week.

But this has to be set against the overall neglect of past years.

‘Neglect’ when the country was recovering from an internal financial downturn and a major international financial crisis, earthquakes and large deficits.

The Press editorial: Budget is an election-year cake with cream filling, frosted icing and a cherry on top

The package is many-pronged, reducing income tax thresholds for the lower paid, changing Working for Families tax credits for people with children, and boosting the accommodation supplement.

Perhaps the more significant longer-term measures are those aimed at future-proofing the economy, especially those to reduce the level of Crown debt and replenish the National Disaster Fund.

Joyce’s Budget is built on the promise of a strong and consistently performing future economy, but these measures at least will provide future governments with some wriggle room when the next natural disaster or global financial crisis hits.



  1. Corky

     /  May 26, 2017

    What some of the comments above show me is many New Zealanders have had limited overseas travel…..that,or they are ungrateful bastards.

    Take this:

    ”A full-time glasshouse worker, she pockets about $560 a week and pays $149 rent to Housing NZ.”

    1- She gets a heavily subsidized government home. She probably receives an accommodation supplement. Her children get free medical treatment and she can access other government help.

    2- She whines about only receiving an extra $28.50 a week, $1,480 a year.

    If she’s unhappy with her life, upskill in her spare time and get a better job. New Zealand is crying out for skilled workers.

    • No Accommodation supplement. It will be an income related rent charged by HNZ, which is a subsidy of rent but by a different mechanism…

      • Corky

         /  May 26, 2017

        Thanks Dave. 25% of income payable for rent I’m told. That’s cheap rent in Auckland.

        • Your welcome Corks…. its real a semantic comment but they are two different rental sdpplement policies..

    • Blazer

       /  May 26, 2017

      the downtrodden cannot afford …overseas travel..Corky….there,you learned something new…today….again.

      • Corky

         /  May 26, 2017

        You may be right…hence there lack of appreciation. Mores the pity. I must admit I was once an ungrateful sod. Three years of mostly noodles( with salt on a good day) cured me of that affliction.

        • Blazer

           /  May 26, 2017

          you have a very refined palate,putting salt on…noodles!I do hope you know your…place.

          • Corky

             /  May 26, 2017

            They didn’t come with the condiments they now have back in the day. The noodle diet would do wonders for your ungrateful attitude, Blazer. That’s if you could hack it.

      • PDB

         /  May 26, 2017

        Probably why the ‘downtrodden’ are always going back & forwards to the Islands or Aussie then………

  2. Corky

     /  May 26, 2017

    National icon, Mikey Hoskings, was chipper this morning as usual……what a great change to the whingers who text him.

    • Blazer

       /  May 26, 2017

      very generous description of a supposedly impartial…broadcaster ….I find him,smug,boring,predictable ,a big girls blouse…and I don’t like him…either.

      • Corky

         /  May 26, 2017

        Thank god for the ”off switch” eh, Blazer. Hold on though, I see Johnny Campbell back on TV3 co-hosting a programme. Given the infantile prats who replaced him must be coing up to their used by date, you never know.

        National = New Zealand or National Party. Us Righties always have choices, Blazer. Anyway why are you miserable this morning? You must have received jam in the budget?

  3. The strategy of whining and grandstanding from the opposition benches and from secure jobs in NGO’s works – eventual the endless complaining has money thrown at it.

    NZ is a socialist country. We are chocka full of hand out addicts.

  4. Blazer

     /  May 26, 2017

    don’t know who is left ‘floundering’ after a budget that does not address the no.1..concern…housing…but these people are voting with their…feet…


  5. Ray

     /  May 26, 2017

    Been a tough night Blazer, you seem to have lost your pep.

    • Blazer

       /  May 26, 2017

      not at all Ray.The budget was the usual Nat TWEAK,no vision,no bold initiatives and it did not address kiwis number 1 concern.It provides $800mil more for prisons to lock up those who wander from the mainstream doctrine…though.You must be delirious.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  May 26, 2017

        Yep those who spurn the ‘mainstream sheeple’ who don’t kill, rape assault and rob people are just being locked up for being…different.
        It’s a fascist conformist state alright. Watch out Blaze – you could be next.

        • Corky

           /  May 26, 2017

          Jeepers, I bet if Blazer went through prison induction…and was bending over for a contraband check..he would be praying the attending prison officer wasn’t a National Party supporter.

          • Blazer

             /  May 26, 2017

            you’ve come along way in life …from subsisting on… noodles …Corky..

  6. Corky

     /  May 26, 2017

    I see the Whaler is running a poll asking if people will vote National again at the election.
    Still a big group of undecided at 18%. However, given the amount of socialist troll identities on the Whalers site I believe the figure would be around 12 to 13 %. Still a reasonable percentage.

    • PDB

       /  May 26, 2017

      Means nothing considering most normal people don’t read whaleoil which has now become an anti-National bashing blog because Slater thinks Judith should be PM. He also manufactured some ‘outrage’ over the ‘Israel vote’ (even though none of the other NZ parties actually said they would have done otherwise) which probably made even more people leave his blog. I used to quickly look through for items of interest but don’t bother anymore.

      • Yes it’s primarily an activist site that claims to be media when it suits their purpose at the time.

    • An on blog poll, especially on such an agenda driven site that has blocked many from contributing, and run by people known to manufacture numbers to suit their agendas, is about as unreliable as a Colin Craig Conservative Party poll.

      • Corky

         /  May 26, 2017

        Yes, I accept all that. But for some reason I think it may be on the money. Hope I’m wrong.
        The real polls will tell the story.

      • PDB

         /  May 26, 2017

        This blog would be a better gauge as to 2017 election voting intentions as it contains a few people on the fringes of the political divide but the majority probably sit centre-left, centre or centre-right.

        I’d assume those that read Whaleoil on a regular basis will just vote ACT if they don’t vote National so hardly changes things anyhow. Winston is too much of a risk of siding with the left post-election.

  7. Zedd

     /  May 26, 2017

    as the debate goes on & the ‘finer points, come to light’… it is again evidence, that this bunch of smug tories are stacking the largest benefits up, in favour of their rich mates, not the poorest (as they said)

    the reality being ‘the leopard does not change its spots’ regardless of the B-S that some may think they see/hear.. “WAKE UP folks & mind the GAP !” :/

    • High Flying Duck

       /  May 26, 2017

      The finer points actually point to the complete opposite Zedd.

      Tax benefits are maxed out at $52,000 – so you get the same $ benefit on $52,000 as you do if you earn $250,000 – and all other changes are specifically targeted at low income earners and families.

      The worst off are single earners with no kids in the $24k – $48k range who lose the earner tax credit (brought in by National), but they are still no worse off, and may be better off if they qualify for accommodation supplements.

    • PDB

       /  May 26, 2017

      Probably why the Greens voted for it in parliament today then Zedd – back to sleep for you…….

  8. Corky

     /  May 26, 2017

    ‘the reality being ‘the leopard does not change its spots’ ‘ Right on, my man. You are living proof of that. Your accommodation supplement has just been increased and you are acting like a screaming skull. I’m downticking you for making hollow comments.

    • Zedd

       /  May 27, 2017

      wot the hell does that mean ?

      you assume too much, methinks