“Labour doesn’t deserve to govern. They have let victimisation skyrocket at enormous cost to so many victims, then with an election in 88 days and crime a rising issue in the polls, they pretend to care,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“If Chris Hipkins wanted to steal ACT’s youth justice facilities policy, he should at least steal it properly. Instead Hipkins has come out with a half-baked, uncosted, bargain-bin version of ACT’s policy to provide more youth justice beds, with no timeframe for implementation. Even with the full machinery of Government behind him he can’t produce anything as close to as detailed as ACT’s proposal from our fully-costed alternative budget.

ACT’s alternative budget proposed:

  • $500 million on the construction of 200 new youth justice beds and approximately $44 million each year to operate these new beds. These beds will be under the control of the Department of Corrections and, once complete, will replace the approximately 160 youth justice spaces currently provided by Oranga Tamariki.

“Labour has scrambled this policy together on the fly, and it shows. Want some insight into why Labour is trying to fire law and order policy out the door in such a rush? It’s simple. According to the latest IPSOS Issues Monitor, since the last election, crime has gone from the fourth biggest issue to the second biggest issue, with the percentage of New Zealanders considering it their biggest issue increasing from 16 per cent to 40 per cent.

“It shouldn’t take an election for a Government to suddenly care about victims.

“Labour’s priorities have been reducing the prison population, removing three strikes, funding cultural reports for convicted crims pre-sentencing, and giving KFC to escapee youths. Everything but the rights of law-abiding New Zealanders.

“Their goal of cutting the number of people behind bars by 30 per cent is sadly one of the only things they’ve been able to achieve, the consequences are an increasing amount of New Zealanders being terrorised by thugs in their homes, in their businesses, and on the streets.

“ACT is producing better policy, with more detail, than Labour can do while in Government. Imagine what we can achieve with the resources of being a governing party? Having ACT in Government would mean real change, real consequences, and safer communities.

“It’s well past time for a change of values on crime, it just shouldn’t take an election to make it happen. People can have no faith that the moment the polls close Labour won’t go straight back to cuddling criminals and forgetting about victims.”

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