Is the government blowing the budget?

A set of coloured alphabet blocks spelling out the word budget

On the 1st of July, the Government’s Regional Fuel Tax came into effect after the Labour Government put the House into urgency so they could rush it through.

The law was passed to allow an additional fuel tax in Auckland, but the Government has left the door open for other Councils to follow suit and our city and regional councils here in Tauranga have already signalled they are interested.

In my view, the last thing hardworking Tauranga families who are trying to get ahead need is another tax! My concerns about this Government’s economic agenda are continuing to mount.

Already we are seeing business confidence plummet, thousands of workers across New Zealand on strike or announcing their intentions to – including our local MBIE and Inland Revenue staff who just this month marched down Cameron Road to the Strand in protest – and the borrowing of $17 billion more than the previous National Government planned.

That’s the equivalent of what we invested rebuilding Christchurch following the Canterbury earthquakes. The Government is borrowing more, taxing more and spending more – but the borrowing isn’t the result of a global financial crisis or a natural disaster. Its business as usual spending is driven through the roof by loose and untargeted promises. They have no plans for how we as a country can earn more and in the meantime, it’s reducing New Zealand’s ability to cope with international and domestic economic shocks.

We need to continue to prudently manage our finances as a country to ensure we’ve got enough in the bank to cover the next unexpected event, just like a family does with their own weekly budget. You never know when you’ll need a new set of tyres or see an unexpectedly high power bill. But the Government doesn’t understand the concept of living within our means and are instead spending billions on diplomats, a tertiary fees policy that doesn’t deliver any more students, and a train set for Auckland – all the while they neglect our local roads.

By Todd Muller, MP for Bay of Plenty

“I write for this Magazine because it’s important for a local MP to communicate with the constituents they represent.”