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Budget 2018: The Greens got shafted

Newshub logoNewshub 17/05/2018 Jenna Lynch
a group of people posing for the camera © Image - Getty, Video - Newshub Nation

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OPINION: The Greens are the big losers this budget day - they have been shafted.

The first red budget is actually a tinge of maroon, with New Zealand First in command of some big bucks.

Winston Peters got more than $1 billion for Foreign Affairs - and a cheeky few million for his mates in the racing industry.

Climate Minister James Shaw, however, had to chuck his name on a press release about insulation because he had next to nothing to claim as a win.

The Green Infrastructure Fund, which will be a key element of getting the private sector on board to transition to a low carbon economy, is worth just $100 million.

The provincial growth fund - also known as the NZ First re-election fund - is worth $1 billion.

These are the parties' respective slush funds. The Greens matcher gets a tenth of that.

And what about biosecurity? We are in the midst of a biosecurity crisis that threatens both our environment and our biggest industry.

Mycoplasma bovis is predicted to cost more than $1 billion to eradicate - it's already announced $85 million to go toward that.

But Treasury has labelled the crisis a risk to the economy - $85 million isn't going to cut it.

On top of that we've had outbreaks of stinkbugs, kauri dieback, myrtle rust.

And the Government has given the Ministry of Primary Industries just $9 million more. That's not a typo. Nine million dollars.

And that's not even per year - that's $9 million over four years. That is half what the previous government put in last year.  

The Sustainable Farming Fund, which will help transition farmers away from intensive dairy farming, is only $15 million - again another big move to mitigate climate change short-changed.

Conservation is the only exception - Department of Conservation funding has been boosted significantly.

But when the Prime Minister has labelled Climate Change her generation’s ‘nuclear-free moment’, that's where the Green focus should be for this Government.

The Greens calling this the 'Greenest Budget in Living Memory' is a load of organic waste.

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