“Labour’s Brain Drain Budget is more focused on improving the wellbeing of corporate fat cats than helping everyday New Zealanders,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Film subsidies were allocated almost half a billion dollars in contingencies, on top of the $73 million already allocated to domestic film subsidies and $53 million already allocated to international productions.

“Eye-watering amounts of money were doled out on corporate welfare. We’re talking $21.9 million on ‘industry transformation plans’ that amount to talkfests with unions, $68 million for the bureaucratic money-go-round that is Callaghan Innovation, and $100 million for a ‘business growth fund’ that is just welfare for businesses that have been thrown out of the dragon’s den by the banks.

“There are hundreds of millions of dollars of more examples as well, the list is endless.

“Labour is taking from taxpayers to line the pockets of corporates. The return on investment for Kiwis is ropey at best and ACT thinks New Zealanders are better off investing the money themselves.

“Middle income New Zealanders were an afterthought in this Budget. Labour has lost touch with everyday Kiwis.

“Successive Labour and National government have used taxpayers’ money to pick winners. The decisions are always political, rather than what’s good policy.

“We would get rid of Corporate Welfare including the Provincial Growth Fund, Callaghan Innovation, the Cultural Sector Regeneration Fund, R&D Tax Credits, and domestic and international film subsidies.

“Kiwis are being squeezed from every direction, they’re tightening their belts and making tough choices, it’s time Government did the same.”