- Date published:
1:10 pm, June 8th, 2016 - 68 comments
Categories: accountability, class war, national, uncategorized, war - Tags: brighter future, choices, defence, funding, underfunding
What are we so afraid of?
More ships and spooks – Govt to pump $20b into Defence Force
More ships, surveillance planes and spies will make up a $20 billion investment in the Defence Force over the next 15 years.
Meanwhile the budget resulted in effective cuts to health and education:
Dr Deborah Russell: Budget 2016 – How do we look after all New Zealanders?
Very quietly, a cut here and a decrease there, a failure to keep up with inflation in one place, and ignoring increasing population in another place, the Government is walking away from New Zealand’s longstanding social compact.
In his Budget speech, Bill English proudly says that government expenditure is down to less than 30 per cent of GDP, and that’s the way that it’s going to stay.
But how is this retreat from the economy achieved?
It happens by spending less on health and less on education, and not spending enough on housing for the least well off New Zealanders.
Health spending is going from $15.2 billion to $15.6 billion. That’s an increase of 2.6 per cent. But inflation is predicted to run at 2 per cent, and population growth is running at around 2 per cent. In real terms, the health spend per capita is going down.
It’s the same story in education. Operating expenditure is going from $13.9 billion to $14.2 billion, a 2.2 per cent increase. That’s not enough to keep up with the growth in school rolls. …
We are under funding mental health:
Mental health service in crisis – still
This week we are once more reminded that the mental health system is in crisis, with the update by Kirsty Johnson in the Herald on autistic man, Ashley Peacock, who has been locked in an isolated mental health unit for five years; a place so isolated his long-suffering parents have never been inside.
The Government has just revealed it’ll slash government funds for the country’s budgeting service by $3 million (despite denying it two weeks ago). Relationships Aotearoa has been scrapped. Fourteen other social service providers have also lost their funding in the last round, the cuts hitting regional services particularly hard. These services may be small but they all work to keep families and lives together. They are all part of the mental health picture. …
We’re under funding DOC:
Alarming new footage of forest collapse
Forest & Bird has released two dramatic videos showing how Northland’s forests, which are undergoing a masting event this year, are collapsing due to chronic underfunding of the Department of Conservation and lack of pest control. …
We’re under funding the police:
High road toll blamed on bad decisions
Government ministers are rejecting claims that police under-funding has lead to the worst Queen’s Birthday road toll in 27 years.
Police have described the long weekend’s road toll – the worst Queen’s Birthday period since 1989 – as horrific. Eleven people died; last year, the toll was five. Police Minister Judith Collins said the Labour Party was wrong to blame the high toll on under-funding and fewer police officers on the road. …
And so on and so on, in this the Eighth Year of the Brighter Future.
Why are we spending so much money on “defence” when there are so many real and urgent needs? It is hard to imagine that our “enemies” could possibly do us more damage than we are inflicting on ourselves.