Grant Robertson on the budget


Labour’s finance spokesperson Grant Robertson keeps his criticism up of Thursday’s budget. I guess he couldn’t praise it, but if he disses it too much he risks being seen as too negative.

He has promoted this Radio NZ interview:

And from the Labour website:

Nats’ budget a double-crewed ambulance parked at the bottom of the cliff

National’s election year Budget shows that there’s no coincidence Finance Minister Steven Joyce doubles as National’s campaign manager, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“The 2017 Budget reveals a lack of vision, and is simply an election year budget with an eye for September 23, not the 21st Century.

“It’s irresponsible to dangle tax cuts that actually benefit the wealthiest more than low-income New Zealanders, instead of investing in the social foundations that are critical to our country’s future.

“The people who gain the most from the tax changes are people like Steven Joyce and me who earn far more than the average wage.

“The richest families get $35 a week from the Budget bribe, the poorest get $5 a week. Someone on the average wage gets $11 a week, and around 800,000 New Zealanders on taxable incomes below $14,000 get nothing.

“Steven Joyce has failed to deliver a plan to fix the housing crisis, build affordable homes for first home buyers, end homelessness, or fund our hospitals and schools properly.

“The big spending from the Government comes in the form of nearly $800 million for prisons. This is actually a sad indictment of National’s failure to invest in New Zealand.

“We would not have to build billion dollar prisons if the Government would adequately invest in early childhood education, get better support to help our vulnerable children, and provide mental health services to New Zealanders before their problems overwhelm them.

“The Government has said they want to double crew ambulances, but when it comes to social services, sadly those ambulances are still parked at the bottom of the cliff.

“Labour has different priorities to National. We will fund our health system properly to meet the needs of a growing population. We will build houses for first home buyers that they can afford, and invest in education instead of building prisons. This Budget offers nothing new. It’s time for a fresh approach,” says Grant Robertson.

The real costs of National’s election bribe

The cost of National’s poorly-targeted election year budget bribe is that there’s nothing to fix the housing crisis, health funding is cut, and funding for schools is cut, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

It’s no coincidence that Robertson targets the three election issues that Labour has chosen to focus their campaign on.

“As the dust begins to settle on the Government’s massive PR exercise, it’s becoming clearer than ever that National has no plan for New Zealand’s future.

“The reality is that $5 of every $7 in National’s package is poorly-directed through the tax cuts. Labour can’t support an approach that perpetuates inequality.

“Around 800,000 New Zealanders on taxable incomes below $14,000 get nothing from this. The 500,000 low income workers currently getting the Independent Earners’ Tax Credit lose that $10 a week, and are left with just an extra dollar a week.

“National’s answer to the housing crisis is building only one new affordable house for every 100 new Aucklanders. They’ve funded just 1200 houses in this Budget.

“Health gets $439 million when it needed $650 million simply to keep up with a growing and ageing population, as well as inflation. This adds further to the existing $1.7 billion of underfunding over the past six years.

“School operational grants needed $140 million to keep up with roll pressures and inflation, but they got $60 million – a shortfall of $80 million.

“And once again, National is refusing to restart contributions to the NZ Superannuation Fund. National is selling out this country’s future for a cynical election-year bribe.

“But the real winners in the tax cuts are those like the Finance Minister and Prime Minister, who will gain 20 times what a single person working fulltime on the minimum wage gets.

“That’s simply not fair. Under nine years of National the gaps between rich and poor have only grown wider. Labour has the fresh ideas to ensure all New Zealanders get a fair share of prosperity,” says Grant Robertson.

The problem with this criticism is that Labour doesn’t have an alternative to suggest, they don’t have a new tax policy, apart from reviewing tax if they become government.


  1. chrism56

     /  May 27, 2017

    Who are the 800k who have taxable incomes belows$14k. How many are children? Would they get working for families support?

    • PDB

       /  May 27, 2017

      Basically none of those people would pay net tax anyhow.

      • Blazer

         /  May 27, 2017

        doubt they would utilise tax havens though….who uses them?

  2. Blazer

     /  May 27, 2017

    David Clark is the best man for the finance portfolio.

  3. Ray

     /  May 27, 2017

    Clark may well be an improvement Blazer, as Robertson gives the impression he could not balance his cheque book, fortunately some of the probable new Labour intake will have the chops to manage the finance portfolio.
    I note David Clark has zero experience/background in the subject!

    • Blazer

       /  May 27, 2017

      a faux pas on my part Ray…I meant David Parker.

  4. Socialist budget for a Socialist nation criticised by a Social Identity Politician….. yip fascinating.

    The disagreement is purely about how much those earning over the median wage should be tapped for their earnings via taxation….to give to those with low skills or a bad work ethic….

    Some questions:

    1 If automation is the wave of the future, which is probably correct in terms of menial jobs – why do we need to grow our labour force via Immigration? In 30 years time what will, our by then 6 million – 7 million strong population, actually do?

    2 Why have we heard “productivity” rhetoric for 30 plus years since the Lange government of
    1984 – its what we need, its the answer to raising living standards – but every governments policies bar a brief period from 1984- 1991, seem to be more about wealth transfer than actually growing the GDP per Capita of our workforce?

    While NZ is a great place to live the lack of actual growth on a per head basis of our real GDP seems to me to be a recipe for us slowly sinking in to 3rd worldism…


    • Blazer

       /  May 27, 2017

      it is sad dave….this govt relies on housing inflation and immigration to make GDP…look good.They have no vision at all,and when you look at their line up…all you see is smug,arrogant…incompetence.

      • Zedd

         /  May 27, 2017

        now thats something i agree with blazer 😀

        I hear that the main reason why Natz really dont want a CGT is because many of their members & supporters, make vast piles of cash from buying/selling property (in Akld) 😦

        • PDB

           /  May 27, 2017

          You ‘hear’ a lot Zedd…….talking to yourself has that effect.

          And what will a CGT achieve? It’s had little/no effect on spiraling overseas house prices where it is implemented.

          • Blazer

             /  May 27, 2017

            how do you expect a domestic CGT to restrain house prices in other …countries?

          • Zedd

             /  May 27, 2017

            sez u PDB.. more rightie B-S sez I&I 😦

        • John Schmidt

           /  May 27, 2017

          Anyone who thinks CGT will solve the housing crisis are dreaming. If this was true real estate fees would have controlled the market since forever.

  1. Grant Robertson on the budget – NZ Conservative Coalition