Fail grade for Government from Labour

Phil Goff Photo by NZPA
Phil Goff Photo by NZPA
The National-led Government has failed New Zealanders with higher living costs, slashes in health and education services, and unfair tax cuts, Labour leader Phil Goff says. 

Mr Goff hammered Prime Minister John Key in Parliament today after Mr Key outlined the Government's plans for 2011.

Mr Goff said the highest earners were given thousands of dollars in tax cuts, while many New Zealanders were going on the "unemployment scrapheap" every week.

"Where is the plan for employment? ... We want a plan from this Government that see people back at work."

Mr Goff said people were worse off because prices had gone up by 4% and wages by 1.7%. 

"The Government has forced low income people below the poverty line and the only people that benefited from the National government tax swindle were the top 10% who earn most of the money."

Mr Goff also questioned the Government's plan to partially sell state assets.

"I wonder what the private sector will do when they buy our assets," he said.

"What about the mums and dads that can't put money together to save because of the rising cost of living. They will lose ownership of our assets. They will get nothing."

He said the cost of early childhood education was going up, while the quality was going down and further cuts meant healthcare and schools will take a hit this year.

Mr Goff said the Government had failed and he predicted his party winning this year's general election.

"This election will be about restoring to New Zealanders a fair go, making sure that people pay a fair share and get a fair share in return," he said.

"There will be a Labour-led Government and we will return fairness to New Zealand and we will return cost of living standards and jobs to this country."

The Green Party said Mr Key's social policy was a "tired recipe for failure and division".

Party co-leader Metiria Turei, replying to Mr Key's statement in Parliament, reiterated the need to boost the minimum wage to $15, construct state housing, and invest more to help low-income earners.

"We'd like to build 6000 new state homes in the next three years. A building programme would help the 10,000 families on the waiting list for a home and it would help our struggling construction industry."

Ms Turei said Mr Key talked of 22,000 children dependant on welfare as if it was their fault.

"We can help them, by expending Working for Families support to their families, to help pay for food, rent, warm clothes, and electricity.

"Instead, we are staring down the barrel of changes to welfare that will widen the gap between those who have the most, and those who need the most," she said.


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