Watts Happening May 2022
This week is Budget Week, where the Government sets out their priorities and spending for the coming year. Labour has continued their taxpayer sponsored spend-up and introduced the largest new spending in our country's history.
In times like this, with a cost of living crisis brought on by inflation, we need to be showing more fiscal discipline, not less.
Sadly when I look at this year's budget, I see very little spend is aligned to mitigate our cost of living crisis.
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Another disappointing Budget for the Shore
As National's Associate Spokesperson for Finance and Infrastructure, I've been working closely with our Finance Spokesperson, Nicola Willis and the rest of our Caucus to analyse this backwards Budget. Budget time is when the Government not only announces new projects but also allocates money for the next four years.
An alternative Budget from National would put the quality of spend and outcomes at the heart of all of our decisions. It's not enough to throw money at problems when there's no delivery. When managed right, our economy can deliver high wages and spark entrepreneurial growth. It allows the Government to make critical investments in infrastructure and public services that unlock our future.
Our country is at a critical junction. We have a loss of social cohesion and poor spending decisions by this government. No one is talking about debt, quality of spending, outcomes and transparency. This government has lost the trust of many kiwis and a National government will need to rebuild that.
Ram raids and rising crime
The massive increase in ram-raids and other robberies has been a stark reminder of the struggle our local business owners face just trying to make ends meet with a Government that doesn't have a plan to fight crime. On the North Shore, I've spoken to business owners who face robberies almost weekly and have been physically assaulted by violent criminals who peddle misery in our communities. National would stay tough on crime and the social factors that drive it.
When I sit in the Debating Chamber and hear the Police Minister and Labour MP's deny gang tension is increasing, that doesn't match up with the reality on the streets of the North Shore and in other communities of New Zealand. I know you see what I see, increasing crime and a lack of leadership from this government and from a Minister who 68% of New Zealanders think is soft on crime.
National and I have been putting crime high on our agenda, and I'm working closely with Police on the North Shore and our communities and business owners to support them. I will never stand by as our community lives in fear of crime and those responsible remain unchallenged.
Call 111 in Emergencies.
Use 105.police.govt.nz or call 105 to report situations that don’t require immediate Police or Emergency Services attendance.
Read our latest Press Release here.
A path out of the cost of living crisis
1. Refocus the Reserve Bank on price stability
2. Stop adding unnecessary costs to businesses and employers
3. Reduce the bottlenecks that are holding back growth
4. Prioritise tax relief
Labour should adopt this plan immediately, especially National's Tax Policy which would index tax brackets to inflation, so Kiwis aren't paying more and more in stealth tax increases. Most importantly, it would give the average earner an extra $1,600 a year. Our tax plan would cost less than a third of the Government's new spending announced this year and would make a real difference to people finding it harder and harder to get ahead in this crisis.
Tackling the challenges of Local Government
As National's Spokesperson for Local Government, I've been travelling the country speaking with Mayors, Councillors and communities from Kaipara to Invercargill, seeing the problems they face. What's clear to me is that while there are issues, there are also huge opportunities.
The most prominent example of Labour's "Wellington knows best" approach continues to be Three Waters. Recently, I spoke on the eye-watering consultant spend on Three Waters, over $21 million and an even larger $34 million on these reforms. All this spending and not a single metre of pipes have been delivered to communities with infrastructure challenges. The great tragedy is there are better ways forward and I'm continuing to push alternative solutions like contracting and collaborating between Councils which would allow access to financing and professional management while retaining local ownership. My message to local communities is simple. National hears your voice, and we have your back.
We continue to have problems with Auckland Transport on our doorstep which seems more concerned with cutting back on parking spaces than investing in critical transport projects like Lake Road. At the same time, AT has failed to invest in public transport like the Stanley Bay Ferry which remains suspended despite a $1.9 billion surplus posted by Auckland Council.
These continue to be my top priorities for the North Shore in the Local Government space which I continue to raise with Auckland Council when I'm advocating for our community.
Parliamentary Art Exhibition
Last week, I opened my first Art Exhibition in Parliament, Faces of Humanity, by Ilan Wittenberg. One of the things MPs have the chance to do is showcase local artists and their work down here in the capital.
Beach cleanup with North Shore's Youth MP
Last week was Youth Week and my Youth MP Ivy Mitchell organised a beach cleanup along Takapuna Beach. Pollution on our shores is a big issue and it's great to see so many young people taking an interest in the problems in our community. It's safe to say the future is in good hands with so many passionate young people on the Shore. Ivy is a strong advocate both for young people and the environment, and she'll be excellent representing the North Shore in Parliament this year.
You can keep up with her work as my Youth MP here. Thanks for your work Ivy and all those who joined in the beach clean-up.
SuperBlues with Erica Stanford
FRIDAY, 3 JUNE 2022 AT 10:00am
Milford Bowling Club
The raffle is $5 per ticket with cash payments on the day.
North Shore Business Breakfast with Chris Bishop
Friday 27th May at 7.00-9.00am
The Spencer Hotel
9/17 Byron Avenue
Chris Bishop MP (Shadow Leader of the House and Spokesperson for Housing, Infrastructure, Covid-19 Response) will be joining me as a guest speaker. This was a sell-out event last year so book your ticket now to reserve your spot.
Cost: $65 per person (incl. GST), including breakfast.
Book online at https://www.national.org.nz/north-shore-business-breakfast
This is a fundraising event with proceeds, after costs, being a donation to the New Zealand National Party.
Host a Yard Sign
We have some yard signs (90cmx60cm) which are in need of a home. If you are keen to put one up on your fence, please contact Azita on 02108176997 or email [email protected]
We are here to help
You can email me and my North Shore constituency office team, at [email protected]
You can also call Miriam to book an appointment at 09 486 0005.
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