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'National Failed To Deliver On Its Tax Cut Promise'

Priyanca Radhakrishnan. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone
The coalition Government is taking New Zealand backwards with its 2024 Budget and ethnic communities are among those set to lose out most. National failed to deliver on its tax cut promise.
National campaigned up and down the country promising to provide tax relief of $250 a fortnight for an average family.
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We’ve now seen that most families won’t be getting anything close to that. The average family will instead get $60 a fortnight, minimum wage workers just 30 cents per hour, and our pensioners may get only $2.50 per week. National has scrapped free prescriptions.
Chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart-related diseases are widespread in our ethnic communities.
For some, these health issues mean they need multiple prescriptions per month, and this government has just made access to medicines more expensive. When Labour removed the $5 prescription cost, I visited a number of pharmacies – many owned by people from our communities – who told me about the many benefits of that policy.
It meant that pharmacies could focus on their job, which is to help people get their
Doctors supported the policy because it meant more people could access medication they needed as soon as they needed it and were, therefore, less likely to get even sicker and need to go to the hospital.
Cost shouldn’t be a barrier to getting the medications you need to live. With free prescriptions gone, I worry of the consequences this will bring to our communities and to our healthcare system.
National failed to deliver their promised 13 cancer treatment. This is a matter of life and death. In opposition, National campaigned on funding 13 new cancer treatments, paid for by scaling back universal free prescriptions. They used this to ask for people’s votes, and then broke their promise to fund them.Time is incredibly valuable in cancer treatments and in this case, treatment delayed
is treatment denied.
As at the time of writing this piece – we are still awaiting a date for these promised treatments.
National fails to match their tough talk on crime.Crime has been front of mind for many within our ethnic communities – particularly our small business owners.
During the campaign, National beat their chests about being tough on crime. Now, we see that it’s crystal clear in the Budget that this Government has no intention of resourcing the Police properly.
They’ve slashed ‘back-office’ jobs that support frontline officers, turned them into fashion police to monitor gang patches, and have given them barely enough money to keep the lights on.
The Government have also recently conceded that their promise to boost police numbers by 500 might not be achievable. Yet another broken promise. National have left a trail of broken promises. As child poverty, rents, unemployment and inflation are all predicted to rise, I’m reminded of families from our communities who are already struggling to put food on the table.
Mums, dads, aunties and uncles who were all promised relief, have instead been given crumbs by this Government. Our ethnic communities have fought long and hard to lead thriving lives here in New
They are hard-working Kiwis that contribute to the economy everyday across all sectors.
For the Government to now turn their back after promising them so much, is nothing short of shameful and will only take our communities backwards. Labour will continue to stand-up for working people, and that includes our ethnic communities. We will continue challenging the Government on its reckless choices and broken promises.
Unlike the Government, who are only focused on the wealthy few, we will continue to fight for the wellbeing of the rest of New Zealand.
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