"Buckle up and get ready. The lack of bold ideas in this budget will be the big election issue in every town across Rangitikei in 2011," says Labour candidate for Rangitikei, Josie Pagani. Families in Rangitikei struggling to make ends meets have been hit hardest in this budget. Cuts to Working for Families go deeper than expected and will hit 7000 families. 1.7 million people across New Zealand who have joined KiwiSaver to save for their retirement will find contributions from this National government halved to just $521 per year. "Why would you attack a savings scheme when debt is such a problem? Theyʼve broken an election promise not to muck around with KiwiSaver and made it a political football." "If youʼve been made redundant and want to study to up-skill yourself, tough luck under this government. Over fifty-five year olds will no longer be able to borrow to cover living costs while they study," says Josie Pagani.
The National government has also said it will sell off four energy companies and prepare Air New Zealand for sale.
"Selling $7 billion worth of public assets when these assets return an annual dividend to the government, is like selling the house to pay the mortgage. Makes no sense at all. The people of Rangitikei already know what itʼs like to have your power provided by an overseas company - Australian owned Powerco. Powerco doesnʼt care about price hikes in New Zealand, or its regular power cuts to households in the region." "This National government has had three years to show that itʼs courageous enough to make bold decisions and get a plan together to grow our way out of debt. Instead theyʼve tinkered around the edges. They canʼt keep blaming the Global Financial Crisis and the Christchurch earthquakes for their lack of ideas."
"Without a plan to support and grow businesses in the Rangitikei region, there wonʼt be any new jobs. Without investment in research and development we wonʼt create new businesses. And without funding for skills, we wonʼt have a local workforce to fill any jobs. Agriculture, forestry and fishing are the biggest businesses and employers in Rangitikei. We should be a centre of excellence for R&D in the primary sector.
"Whoever ends up as the National candidate in Rangitikei will have some explaining to do. Apart from a cycle pathway, what other ideas have you got?
Mary Holm: Kiwi Saver: How to Make it Work for You
Gareth Morgan: Kiwisafer: How to Keep Your Money Safe in Kiwisaver
Compare Credit Cards - Independent interest rate and fees comparisons for New Zealand banks.