As Parliament begins for 2024, Labour is ready to take on the Coalition of Chaos as a formidable opposition with an experienced and energetic team.
If the past couple months are indicative of how the Government will behave for the whole term, we are in for an alarming ride.
The Government has unveiled a regressive 100-day plan full of scraps, stops and cuts – nothing tangible, nothing of substance, and nothing that will take New Zealand forward, but instead, backwards.
Labour has a clear vision. It’s one where our economy provides security and opportunities for every New Zealander and their family. It’s one where everyone has a healthy, affordable place to call home and access to world-class healthcare. And it’s one where we look after our environment for generations to come.
In Government, we made significant progress toward this future, but there’s still much more to do.
Our focus now is on preventing the new National-led Government from taking the country backwards. And with the start this Coalition has had, it’s clear that Kiwis need an opposition that holds them to account.
Already the Government is making changes that have dire consequences for many families and cutting public services like police and education.
With cost of living being one of the biggest issues facing many families, National is set to make life more expensive.
Almost a third of the population will be impacted by their decision to scrap free and half price public transport fares for under 25-year-olds. Also joining the scrap heap are universal free prescriptions and free early-childhood-education for under-two-year-olds, which only further piles on the pressure.
At a time when whānau already have too much on their plates, it’s clear that National are playing politics with blindfolds on and ignoring the most glaring issues faced by everyday Kiwis.
Another example of this is National’s shameful decision to repeal smokefree laws in their scramble to pay for their tax cuts for the wealthy few. This only goes to show they are incredibly out of touch with New Zealanders and will cost our health system billions in the coming decades – not to mention the many lives that will be put at risk.
And of course, many Aucklanders will feel let down by the decision to scrap light rail. The reality is, Kiwis need long-term transport and infrastructure solutions that will serve us now and into the future.
We will continue to listen to New Zealanders and push the new Government to tackle the big challenges, like these, head on. -Arena Williams, Labour MP for Manurewa, Assistant Whip
Spokesperson for Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Building and Construction, State Owned Enterprises