<' />
Opposition Finance spokesman David Cunliffe on Budget 2011.

National's budget cuts hurt but don't help. This is a tinkering budget that fails to address the fundamental challenges our country's economy faces.

In place of a credible and responsible plan, National will borrow, sell assets, and hope.

National projects borrowing are $30 billion over the next four years, on top of the $36 billion they have already borrowed.

In addition, the government plans to flog off $7 billion worth of our public assets. Despite promising not to sell assets before the election, it has already booked the proceeds. National's promise to fund new health services now depends on selling public assets.

National is also pinning its hopes on growth that it has failed to deliver in the past three years. With no sign of an economic plan from this government there is no reason to think that these growth projections will materialise.

This is more of the same from National. Every budget it has promised that growth is just around the corner. Every time that growth hasn't occurred and the government has had to borrow more instead.

The lack of an economic development plan is breath-taking. There is no credible strategy for jobs and growth. National is completely out of ideas.

There is no plan to grow savings and capital sufficiency or improve investment incentives for a modern high-value economy.

In the long-run asset sales will cost us more in lost dividends than we get from the sales. That is not an economic plan, it is the equivalent of selling our house for scrap to help pay off the mortgage.

There is no plan to deliver much needed relief to hardworking families stressed to the max by runaway living costs. Instead, a family of four will be $40 a week worse off.

These are tough times and the government's finances are tight but the government has choices.

It didn't have to break its promise to hardworking families, who will see their Working for Families payments and Kiwisaver contributions cut, and their wages barely match inflation.

It could have reversed the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars in tax cuts a week that National awarded the wealthy.

Instead its budget is a bridge to nowhere, paved with broken promises.

National has no vision for New Zealand to own its own future; no plan for growing the economy; no sense of basic Kiwi fairness; nothing except plans to flog off our assets and hope that the economy fixes itself.

New Zealand deserves better. Over coming months, Labour will present a responsible and credible plan for the future. The plan that this budget fails to deliver.