Hone Harawira does not want to vote for the ‘don’t be jealous’ budget and he doesn’t think the Maori Party will be standing true to its principles or supporters if it does:
“I’m having difficulty supporting a tax increase that made things easier for the wealthy at the expense of those in need.
“GST hits poor people the hardest because nearly all of their money is spent on things that you pay GST on food, petrol, electricity so any increase is going to really hurt them.”
“Maori people … voted for us because they believed in us and they will be struggling to put the picture of the Maori Party they voted for together with the picture of their MPs voting for an increase in GST.”
Harawira sought permission to cross the floor and vote against the Budget. Tariana Turia, who is awfully comfortable in the back of her Crown limo, refused fearing it would imperil the deal she has with a Prime Minister who makes jokes about her people being cannibals and breaks his promises to them.
“My caucus colleagues don’t like the GST increase either but they argue that we’ve done too much to jeopardise what we’ve achieved so far and what our people want us to achieve in the years ahead.”
The GST increase and the rent increases to pay for the ‘rich man’s bonus’ undo at one fell swoop any gain one can claim from Whanau Ora, DRIP, and the flag (nevermind the ETS,Fire at Will, mining, the Tuhoe debacle, the Supercity…).
Turia can’t ultimately force Harawira to vote one way or another. If he wants to cross the floor he can. Will he have the courage of his convictions and stand up for working Kiwis against this wealth grab for the rich?
Let’s hope so.