Politicians practised their election campaign speeches in today’s estimates debate in Parliament.
Starting off the set piece debate after Question Time, Finance Minister Bill English said the Appropriation (2013/14 Supplementary Estimates) Bill and an attached Imprest Supply Bill ensured supply for the Government to carry on its business.
English said it would be interesting to see what the Opposition would choose to debate, it could debate the state of the economy and the performance of Government. But Labour was proving lazy three months ahead of an election as they had expected to be covered in a “deluge of leaks” from public servants about cuts and their effects which would prove to the people they wrong about voting National… “and they are still waiting”.
English said the National Government had been about achieving results and the public sector had worked hard towards meeting them. The economy was growing and inequality was not getting worse
Labour’s Grant Robertson said it was time for English to get out the beltway and see what is happening in New Zealand, there was 8 percent unemployment in North Island and higher unemployment amongst Maori, Pacific people and youth.
The public service was being cut and a Government could not continually cut police budgets and expect things to work.
National did not want the wealth shared around, most employers had not received salary increases, but senior managers pay had gone up.
National was about looking after its “mates” and not the people, Robertson said.
At the beginning of the three hour debate the First Imprest supply bill for 2014/15 was introduced given its first reading and a second reading alongside the estimates bill. Both passed the resulting confidence and supply vote by 62 to 56 with National, Maori Party and United Future in favour.
The bills were given their third reading without debate with the same result.
MPs returned to the interrupted third reading debate of the Victims’ Orders Against Violent Offenders Bill
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