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Budget 2019 'disappointing' to middle NZ, mental health funding 'well under-cooked' - Amy Adams

Budget 2019 is nowhere near "living up to the hype" of the Government's promises to New Zealand, National says.  

"Our businesses are hurting, job growth is down and the only answer this Government have come up with is KiwiRail subsidies," National's finance spokesperson Amy Adams said after the Budget's details were officially released.

KiwiRail received $1 billion in the Budget. 

Read: Mental health, child wellbeing and rail – the big winners of Budget 2019

"Most middle New Zealanders are going to look at it and be incredibly disappointed. It doesn't get anywhere near living up to the hype the Government promised them," she said. 

"There isn't enough money in education to cover inflation and population. The DHBs will barely be able to deficit, elective surgeries will get harder and harder with this funding."

She said Pharmac's increase did not cover inflation costs and the education number was not enough "to keep the lights on with population and demographic increases".

"The big centre piece of their economic plan is KiwiRail subsidies, if that's what they think is going to turn around this flagging economy, I think it shows how little they understand the problems that we face."

Ms Adams said the $1.9 billion mental health funding was "not what it appears". 

"It's well undercooked in terms of what their own advice streams are telling them."

"A big chunk of that is the Housing First programme... I don't think you can class it in the mental health space."

"They've cut funding to the incredibly successful alcohol and drug courts."

Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges said that families want more money in their weekly budgets for food, petrol and rent".

"Instead, their taxes are going towards rail, the Defence Force and tree".

"NZ First has once again shown that it holds the purse strings with today’s announcements of a billion on rail that nobody wants and even more for forestry."

"Yesterday, teachers marched on Parliament demanding a pay rise but there’s nothing for them today. The Budget has funding for classrooms, but what good are classrooms if there are no teachers to work in them?"

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National’s Finance spokesperson reacts to Grant Robertson’s wellbeing budget. Source: 1 NEWS