Govt policies tailored for the wealthy, not the people – Greens

By rnz.co.nz and is republished with permission

The Greens are taking aim at the coalition government’s policies, saying they lack genuine care.

Green Party co-leaders Marama Davidson and Chlöe Swarbrick gave their annual “State of the Planet” speech on Sunday (Source: rnz.co.nz)

Party co-leaders Marama Davidson and Chlöe Swarbrick gave their annual “State of the Planet” speech on Sunday at Wynyard Quarter in Auckland, their first delivered together.

Davidson said the government’s policies were devoid of evidence.

“Policies like boot camps for the young, benefit sanctions for the already struggling, higher criminal penalties. A punitive and petty politics that makes life harder for those already excluded and does nothing – nothing – to keep communities safe and well, this is divisive, stale, cruel and ineffective.”

Successive governments had been stuck on politics that relied on catch phrases and “not here for people and planet”.

Putting together this budget had been clearly been difficult for the government, Davidson said.

“They are borrowing billions to cover the cost of cutting taxes for wealthy property investors because they’ve realised that the promises they made during the election campaign were slap-dash and expensive”, she said.

“To the right, Act is trying to fire all the people who make our public services work, while in their own … corner, NZ First hoards $1.2 billion dollars for hand-chosen pet projects.

“Meanwhile, people with the least face even higher costs, bus fares have already gone up, rents continue to rise while the government is giving tax breaks to landlords instead of investing in more public housing.”

Davidson also criticised cancelled plans for investment in public transport and rail in Auckland and Wellington.

Swarbrick urged the public not to leave politics to the politicians. “We’ve already got some receipts on this government’s values.”

People need to be loud and protest in the streets for what they believe, and dire predictions for the climate and society were not inevitable, if firm action is taken, she said.

“As hard as it feels right now, in our communities, it is our country and our world that is shaped by those who realise their power and turn up.

“We together have a choice – whether we want to change everyone’s lives by changing the irrational and exhausting economic system that is putting our planet and communities under immense pressure, or treat the trickle-down economics rule book as if it’s some natural law of the world.”

The devastation wreaked by Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland Anniversary floods enforced the fact more action on climate change was needed urgently, to protect lives and businesses, she said.

“The climate crisis is here, but … we have choices now about what the future looks like. If we act now to bring down emissions as fast as possible, storms like this will stay relatively rare.

“But if we let oil companies continue to burn fossil fuels and pollute our climate we may look back on these storms as being mild and moderate – I know which world I’d rather live in.”

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