Labour is keeping promises it made to its political partners while breaking promises it made to people when it campaigned last year.
Shane Jones continues to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars with no plan or oversight, while the Government repeatedly breaks promises claiming it doesn’t have enough money, National’s Regional Economic Development spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.
“When the Government is closing down maternity centres like Lumsden’s, cancelling new funding for cochlear implants for children, breaking its promise of universal cheap GP visits and more funding for mental health initiatives because it claims it doesn’t have enough money, the extra $240 million for planting pine trees is extraordinary.
“The fact is the Government has now found around $485 million for NZ First’s pet project, while at the same time telling teachers it can’t afford the pay rises they want.
This is partly the cost of MMP but it is also about priorities.
The government began by prioritising non-essentials like fee-free tertiary education and has continued to find money for such things as good looking horses while saying there is not enough money for necessities.
“Labour is putting its promises to its political partners ahead of everyday New Zealanders and NZ First is milking that for all its worth.
“Meanwhile, Mr Jones’ Provincial Growth Fund continues to cause real concern.
“From broken promises that there’d be no private gain, to terms described by grant recipients as exceedingly generous to Mr Jones doling out cash to people he knows, the fund has been beset by concerning revelation after revelation.
“The Government is flinging good money after bad at projects we have no detail on, no oversight of and no confidence in and it shows no sign of abating or improving.
“And it makes no economic sense. Mr Jones admits the trees will be planted in regions where there is currently little economic rationale for such a strategy and where commercial foresters haven’t seen the need to expand. None of it makes sense.
“When the teachers unions, maternity carers and advocates for the deaf are sitting across the table from ministers pleading poverty they should keep in mind the fact NZ First has more negotiating power than all of them put together.”
Primary teachers will strike tomorrow as they campaign for better pay and conditions.
Find me anyone who thinks the non-essentials the government is funding should take higher priority than the education of primary school children and I’ll find a bridge to sell them
People who voted for Labour were promised a government that would care about people and put them first. They’ve got one that has spent too much on paying for power at the expense of necessities.
Instead of putting the needs of New Zealand and New Zealanders first they’ve put the wants of New Zealand First first.