Source: Green Party
- Landmark week for climate action concludes with climate budget
- Largest ever investment in climate action one of many Green Party wins throughout Budget 2022
- Budget 2022 delivers progress on every part of the cooperation agreement with Labour
Budget 2022 is a climate budget that caps a landmark week for climate action in Aotearoa – and delivers progress on all areas of the Green Party’s cooperation agreement with Labour.
“People elected the Green Party to take action on climate change and we are delivering as part of this Government,” Green Party Co-leader James Shaw says.
“This week has been the biggest week for climate action in New Zealand history with the release of New Zealand’s first ever Emissions Reduction Plan. Budget 2022 will invest $2.9 billion to help make the plan a reality – every dollar of which comes from some of our biggest polluters.
“The Green Party is also pleased that the Budget includes additional support for people on low incomes which will also help reduce emissions – particularly the extension of half price public transport and a new fund to support community renewable energy projects.
“But there is so much more that needs doing. The Greens have made no secret of the fact that we want more rapid action to cut climate pollution. But right now people can see that we are making a real difference to the future of Aotearoa. We will keep pushing for climate action that puts people first and future Budget investments that make deeper, faster cuts to emissions,” James Shaw says.
James Shaw said confirmation in Budget 2022 that the Government is not moving fast enough to eliminate child poverty was concerning.
“Child poverty is a political choice. The Government can eliminate poverty by being bolder on tax and boosting peoples’ incomes,” James Shaw said.
Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson welcomed the additional support for people on low incomes – but said Budget 2022 does not go far enough to address the inequality crisis.
“People will see the Green Party’s influence throughout the Budget, not only in our Ministerial portfolios but in every area we agreed to work with Labour on.
“I was very proud recently to announce $114 million to help prevent and respond to family violence and sexual violence. With the Greens in Government, we are investing in collective action to make Aotearoa a safer place for everyone.
“Budget 2022 will make a big difference to people’s lives but the Green Party is clear that more needs to be done to support people on the lowest incomes.
“While the Government is taking action to ease the pressure of high costs on families it would be far simpler to bring together all the different bits of money and provide it to people as income support.
“The Green Party would also prefer to see income top-ups for people already receiving the Winter Energy Payment, as well as the temporary cost of living payment announced today.,” Marama Davidson says.
Marama Davidson welcomed the new Affordable Housing Fund.
“Aotearoa should be a place where all people have a healthy, safe, and affordable place to call home, no matter if they rent or own. This is a human right.
“The Green Party has long campaigned for more affordable homes. The Affordable Housing Fund in Budget 2022 looks very similar to our election commitment to introduce government underwrites for non-profit rental housing.
“This is another example of a Green idea being picked up by the Government. We encourage Labour to keep copying our homework – and as they do, we’ll keep pushing for more,” Marama Davidson says.
Marama Davidson added that Budget 2022 has also taken an important step towards a fairer, more equal health system.
“For decades, the health sector has been severely underfunded. Today’s Budget is a good start for turning this around,” says Marama Davidson.
“We welcome the funding announced for the Māori Health Authority, but we need to see this paired with a genuine commitment to partnership.
“There needs to be a Māori-led approach to determining how primary care is funded and provided to Māori communities, particularly in rural areas which have missed out for too long.
“We also welcome the extension of dental grants. But while this support can now be used for any dental procedure, it will not help prevent dental issues occuring in the first place.
“The Green Party is also pleased to see additional support for our rainbow communities.
“Clearing the deficits of DHBs will make more money available to boost the wages of our essential health care workers.
“The Green Party calls on the Government to go further and commit funding for pay equity across the whole sector – including the lowest paid staff who do essential work in aged care and other related areas,” Marama Davidson says.