Ardern tries to sell warm, fuzzy Wellbeing Budget

Wed, 23 Jan, 2019

New Zealanders will be none the wiser about the Government’s Wellbeing Budget as Jacinda Ardern tries to sell it on the world stage, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“In a Financial Times op-ed, Prime Minister called her wellbeing approach an ‘economics of kindness’.

“New Zealanders can’t pay the rent with wellbeing. They can’t fill up the car with kindness.

“This underlines the woolly nature of the Government’s Wellbeing Budget. It focuses on nebulous concepts and neglects the core policy areas where it can have a huge impact on people’s lives.

“Some of the Government’s wellbeing measures include loneliness, inclusion, and whether people have an identity and purpose. While these are important, they should not be a core concern of government.

“The Government’s job is to get the basic policies right within which New Zealanders can live independent and productive lives.

“Government can influence living standards by building the best education system in the world. Allowing the private sector to build houses. Fixing congestion. Having low and flat taxes and best-practice regulation. This is the business of government.

“The Prime Minister’s op-ed also criticises Rogernomics. The reforms of the Fourth Labour Government built the foundation for the successful economy New Zealand has today. It understood that the only way to sustainably raise wages and living standards is for workers to be more productive.

“Jacinda Ardern’s Government has no clear plan for achieving this.

“ACT believes the Government should empower New Zealanders to do things for themselves. That’s why we introduced choice in education through charter schools. It’s why we want to reduce the regulatory burden to allow people to build more houses. And why we want to allow New Zealanders to keep more of their pay cheque.

“New Zealanders achieve wellbeing through their own actions, they don’t receive it from a well-meaning but ultimately naïve government.”