Budget 2017: Opinion and analysis


PM Bill English calls it a "budget that delivers" - the PSA says it's disappointing and lacks heart. Here's a selection of budget analysis from unions, commentators and opposition politicians:

Glenn Barclay, PSA National Secretary

“For eight years, National’s been promising a budget that would allow all New Zealanders to share in the fruits of a relatively strong economy. Along with hard-working Kiwi families, public servants were hoping for a budget with heart. But this isn’t it. We’re deeply disappointed at the lack of substance in this budget, and it reinforces our view that New Zealand needs a change of heart.”

Andrew Little, Labour leader

“This is a tired Government whose only idea left is to splash the cash instead of a genuine commitment to fix housing, health, education and infrastructure. In health, this Budget is $200 million a year short of what DHBs need to stand still. In education, schools are short $70 million at a time when we have overcrowding and falling standards. And in housing National is only building one affordable house a day in Auckland for every 100 new Aucklanders. Labour is committed to fixing the housing crisis, clearing our roads of gridlock, and fixing the $1.7 billion hole in health.”

James Shaw, Greens co-leader

"National has always been long on grand announcements and short on real results. Steven Joyce’s first – and final – Budget is no different. The only pie Bill English should be eating today is humble pie. We’ve had nine years of National in government and there is a decent surplus and all we’ve seen today is more tinkering. This Budget will make little difference to the lives of those who need it the most, and no difference at all for our environment."

Kyle MacDonald, People's Mental Health Review

“The spending that has been allocated, via the Social Investment budget, is a small percentage of what is required. Since 2008 funding increases for Mental Health represent a 28% increase in spending, despite a massive 60% increase in demand. This budget allocates $25 million per year to core DHB services, which is only $1.25 million per DHB. What was announced today comes nowhere near addressing the ongoing shortfall in funding for our core public mental health system.”

Richard Wagstaff, CTU President

“A successful budget moves New Zealand towards being a more equal society – it is an opportunity to make New Zealand a better place. This Budget lacks ambition, it lacks leadership and most importantly it lacks a vision and commitment to making life better for all Kiwis. It restored only a little more than half the value of Working for Families that has been stripped from it by National Governments since 2010. People will pay for the tax cuts in deteriorating public services, while people on higher incomes get more in dollar terms than those who most need it."