OPINION: The bite of winter is nipping away at us and the shorter days are setting in.
With the delivery of Labour’s much anticipated Budget last month, we saw many broken promises by the Ardern-Peters’ Government. And as Parliament returns, we will continue to see the detailed reality of these broken promises as ministers appear before select committees to outline the specific funding for their departments and explain their decisions.
Some committees have already met. At those meetings, we heard from Andrew Little that the Pike River re-entry is being delayed further, we learnt that Shane Jones gave $61 million to Northland from his slush fund and only $42 million to the rest of the country, and we saw Kelvin Davis incapable of answering basic questions on this Government’s tourism policy.
The Budget debate you saw last month was about the overall direction of the Government. Policies were briefly outlined and MPs debated whether or not the Budget was the right or wrong direction. Spoiler alert, I thought it heads in the wrong direction.
This select committee process is where we will see the actual dollars and cents revealed, discussed and questioned. This is the real debate about the specific policies of this Government and where we will see what promises they have kept and broken.
But we already know of the many promises they have broken. And we are now seeing a winter of strikes roll ever closer.
Labour gave Jones $3 billion and a blank cheque book, and Winston Peters’ mates got a tax break for their race horses – only the pretty ones, mind you – so there is little left to fulfil the many promises they made to New Zealanders. The promises people voted for. But in spite of the broken promises, they still borrowed an additional $10 billion to prop up their spending.
When in Government, National had to borrow money for crises such as the global financial crisis and the Canterbury earthquakes.
Labour has borrowed money to pay off Peters. And as winter rolls on, there are more strikes planned and people are still waiting for the winter energy payments promised for May 1. These are the cold and painful consequences of this budget of broken promises, the details of which will be on display over the coming fortnight.
•Wagner is a National list MP for Christchurch Central and spokeswoman for Greater Christchurch Regeneration