Budget 2012: As it happened

Budget 2012 Word Cloud
The Word Cloud above shows the Budget speeches from the major politicial parties. One of the standout words - economy.
4:27pm That ends our live updates on Budget 2012. Thanks for joining us.
4:26pm Mr Harawira ends his speech by calling for Government to "tax the rich, feed the poor". He is followed by John Banks, who says Government needs to spend less and New Zealanders should be able to decide how to use their money.
4:22pm "I bet no Government minister is going to allow their kids to be put into bigger classes," Mr Harawira says. He says they should not raise class sizes if they would not want the policy to affect their own children.
4:20pm Mr Harawira says "filthy rich people with filthy little minds" will still be able to be able to make racist statements with no repercussions.
4:17pm Mr Harawira is rubbishing Pita Sharples' claims Maori will benefit from Budget 2012. It does nothing to promote Maori, he says.
4:13pm Mr Sharples says Maori have made significant gains despite it being a zero budget. He is speaking to an almost empty house. Mana leader Hone Harawira is next.
4:11pm He also seeks credit for raising tobacco prices to more than $20 per pack by 2016. The Maori Party has led the fight against smoking since entering parliament, he says.
4:07pm Mr Sharples says the Maori Party fought for the $24 million set to be invested in stamping out rheumatic fever amongst New Zealand children. It is a third world disease that "shouldn't even be here", he says.
4:05pm Maori Party leader Pita Sharples begins his response.
3:58pm Mr Peters said "has anyone got a corner dairy available" as he held up a photo of National list MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi.
3:56pm Tau Henare is "definitely going to be gone", Mr Peters says. The last photo held up is of Paul Goldsmith, pulling out his own election signs in Epsom. All the photos seem to be glued onto brown cardboard.
3:55pm Winston Peters is holding up embarrassing photos of National MPs. Kate Wilkinson was on a llama.
3:54pm Education Minister Hekia Parata is charged with implementing one of the more controversial policies from Budget 2012 - a move to freeze a universal subsidy on early childhood education and target funding into low participation areas.
3:48pm Mr Peters compares the rhetoric used to justify asset sales in 1991 to that of Mr English today. He says "a young Bill English" was in the house in 1991 and did not just listen to the rhetoric - "sadly he believed it".
3:47pm Russel Norman finishes his response. NZ First leader Winston Peters begins his speech by calling this the "back to the future" Budget. He compares it to the 1991 "mother of all budgets" presented by then-Finance Minister Ruth Richardson. He was around to hear Ms Richardson present that one in person.
3:41pm Data journalist and blogger Keith Ng has created a Budget visualisation over on publicaddress.net.
3:37pm New Zealand Mums and Dads won't be able to afford to invest in state assets, Mr Norman says. They are too busy trying to pay for groceries, which are more expensive because National increased GST to fund tax cuts for the wealthy on "Paritai Drive", he says.
3:35pm Asset sales will make the country's books worse, with cash flowing to overseas investors, Mr Norman claims. Overseas ownership turns corporates into "capital drains" rather than smart economic investments, he says.
3:33pm Mr Norman says this Budget will continue to widen the gap between rich and poor. He continues to hit out against tax cuts which he claims gave $5000 extra every week to the chief executive of Westpac Bank, while "attacking" low income families.
3:30pm Here are Budget responses from Labour and the Greens.
3:27pm In a continuing trend, Greens co-leader Russel Norman calls this a "zero hope" Budget.
3:26pm Apparently buses are still being diverted as students "blockade the budget" by cutting off Symonds St in central Auckland.
3:25pm Mr Key ends his speech to a standing ovation from National MPs.
3:25pm Mr Key says five to seven billion dollars will be raised from selling state assets, and that money will be reinvested into schools and hospitals.
3:20pm The Budget is "sensible for uncertain times", Mr Key says. It will invest into elective surgery, cancer care and free after hours doctors visits for under-sixes.
3:18pm Mr Key is leading out a list of policies opposed by Labour as National MPs yell responses in chorus. "Did they support a national convention centre?" "No," they chime together.
3:13pm More New Zealanders have jobs than ever before, Mr Key claims. More people are employed as a percentage of population in New Zealand than in Australia, he says.
3:12pm New Zealand's economy is expected to grow faster than that of the US, the United Kingdom, Japan and the "entire Eurozone", Mr Key says. It will grow as fast as Australia's over the next three years, he says.
3:11pm Mr Key says Mr Shearer's speech only makes sense on "planet Labour". He attacks Labour for introducing a deposit guarantee scheme for finance companies that cost New Zealand billions of dollars. The Labour party believes the global financial crisis and the Christchurch earthquakes never happened, he says.
3:08pm Mr Shearer ends his speech. Prime Minister John Key begins his reply. He says Mr Shearer's speech went as well as the recent Facebook float. One person liked it, Mr Key says: "David Cunliffe".
3:06pm This Budget is more about what's missing than what's in it, Mr Shearer says. It will allow the superannuation budget to blow out to more than the amount of money Government spends on education within three years, he says. "It is a zero hope budget."
3:04pm Mr Shearer attacks Government plans to expand the number of pokie machines Sky City is allowed in exchange for the company to build a convention centre in Auckland.
3:02pm Mr Shearer reads a John Key quote from when he was still in opposition, saying he wanted to become Prime Minister because the number of people leaving New Zealand for Australia every year would fill Westpac Stadium. "Well, I've booked Eden Park for you", says Mr Shearer. That would be the only place with enough seating to fit the numbers now leaving, he says.
3:00pm He does it again.
3:00pm Mr Shearer accidentally calls Speaker Lockwood Smith "Mr Australia".
2:58 The National Government has delivered the worst economic growth in 50 years, Mr Shearer says. He holds up a graph showing the growth achieved by past administrations, with that achieved by the current National administration barely visible. That is "utter failure", he claims.
2:56 Mr Shearer says Government projected four per cent GDP growth in 2011, and delivered 1.1 per cent. That came after a series of overestimated growth forecasts, he says.
2:54 Mr Shearer says Mr English has effectively cut $400 million from the police budget.
2:52 Class sizes have gone up and that is harming children's learning, Mr Shearer says. He reads an old quote from Bill English, from his time as Minister of Education, saying smaller classes will be good for children.
2:49 Mr Shearer says parents are sending their kids to school sick because they are too worried to take a day off work. His local mechanical engineers haven't had a pay rise in four years. New Zealanders "expect a better deal", he says.
2:47 Labour Party leader David Shearer starts by saying "if that Budget doesn't get people flocking to the departure lounges, nothing will". He accuses Mr English of delivering a Budget that will drive people to Australia and stall economic growth.
2:46 Mr English ends his speech and commends the Budget to the house. He is applauded by his National Party colleagues, led by Prime Minister John Key.
2:46 Labour economic development spokesman David Cunliffe is accusing Government for cutting back business growth funding. He says a seed funding scheme for businesses has been cut 63 per cent. "Is this there business growth plan?"
2:41 Mr English says Government remains committed to rebuilding Christchurch after the devastating earthquake on February 22, 2011. He pays tribute to the work of Canterbury Earthquake Recovery minister Gerry Brownlee.
2:40 The Budget shows Government is remaining "tough on crime", Mr English says. It will invest in drug rehabilitation for prisoners in an effort to reduce reoffending by 25 per cent by 2017, he says.
2:38 In a previously flagged move, Mr English says student loan repayment levels will be raised and student allowance rules will be tightened and aimed at undergraduate degrees.
2:33 United Future leader Peter Dunne appears to be tweeting as Mr English is delivering the Budget. He says: "Pragmatic Budget for our times lays foundation for broad based future growth."
2:31 Mr English says Government wants to increase participation in early childhood education to 98 per cent nationwide.
2:29 Kiwisaver will be strengthened by Budget 2012, Mr English says. Fund managers will be made to report returns on investments and increased monitoring will be implemented, he says. However, an auto enrollment scheme has now been deferred to avoid endangering a forecast surplus in 2014/15.
2:25 Mr English is defending the Government's plans to sell up to 49 per cent of a number of State Owned Enterprises.

The Government would rather build new schools and hospitals without having to borrow from overseas lenders while still maintaining a majority shareholding in those companies, he says.

2:22 Herald business editor Liam Dann is calling this 'the Seinfeld Budget', presumably because it is a show about nothing.
2:20 Inland Revenue will receive an extra $78 million to improve its compliance functions, Mr English says. The Budget will close tax loopholes and erase existing tax credits to generate extra revenue, he says. He claims the changes will save $410 million over the next four years.
2:17 Government has deferred a costly Kiwisaver auto-enrollment plan to shore up its efforts to get back to surplus. Read Adam Bennett's story here.
2:16 Mr English is outlining the Government's plan to take New Zealand back into surplus by the 2014/15 financial year. It is going to use fiscal discipline to reduce debt and get the country back to surplus, he says.
2:14 Mr English takes a shot at the Helen Clark-led Labour Government of the 2000s. Its spending was unsustainable, he claims
2:12 Mr English says the global economic environment remains volatile. This global weakness and volatility means New Zealand must focus on the areas it can directly control, such as creating a surplus, he says.
2:12 The economy has grown modestly, but steadily, Mr English claims.

It is projected to grow faster than countries such as the US and Canada, he says.

2:11 The Budget is aimed at creating a better public service, protecting the vulnerable and rebuilding Christchurch, Mr English says.

He says the Budget is about creating a better future for New Zealanders from all walks of life.

2:10 Mr English is now reading his Budget speech.
2:08 NZ First leader Winston Peters rises to argue Act leader John Banks never voted on the Budget. He did, and Mr Peters is ordered to sit down.
2:06 A vote on the Budget is carried out. There are 64 votes for and 57 against.
2:05 A slight hiccup as Mr English starts reading his speech and is interrupted by the Speaker, who reminds him he must first move the motion before beginning to speak.
2:04 Finance Minister Bill English has delivered copies of the Budget to the leaders of other parliamentary parties.
1:46pm Crowds of students protesting the Budget have blocked Symonds St outside Auckland University.

Skips have been moved onto the street to cut off traffic and buses have been diverted. See the video here.

The protest is aimed at opposing changes to student support flagged in the Budget, including cuts to allowances and new rules forcing loans to be paid back earlier.

1:45pm: Welcome to our latest updates on Budget 2012. Finance Minister Bill English will deliver the Budget at parliament at 2pm.

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