Winter will be a busy season for Parliament as we address issues of Euthanasia, Gun Control, and the Budget.
David Seymour’s Bill to legalise Euthanasia returns from the Select Committee consultation to be debated for a second time in the House. This debate is a consciousness vote, meaning Parties allow MPs to vote freely rather than as a block. This debate will be important for the Bill’s progress as it allows for amendments to be proposed and added.
On gun control, Parliament has already taken bipartisan measures to amend the Arms Act to prevent military style semi-automatic rifles from being owned or traded in New Zealand. Next we will look at the wider gun laws in a second round of more detailed amendments to the Act. These will likely be open to more traditional Parliamentary processes which gives you more opportunities to have a say, and the government is expected to announce these in the next few weeks.
The budget will also be presented in May. Grant Robertson will deliver his second budget on Thursday 30th May, and it will include new measures around wellbeing.
Unfortunately these new measures, probably well-intentioned, are both vague and beyond the focus of a budget. The budget is the financial plan for implementing a government’s policies – how it will fund the policies and objectives they have set out. It is first and foremost a sober, financial assessment and plan for the year ahead.
With that in mind, I will be watching this budget closely to make sure that the government lives within its means during this time of increased cost of living.
It’s easy to make promises in opposition but harder to deliver on them in government. In 2018, the Labour Party didn’t deliver on their election promises. They didn’t provide the promised price cap on GP visits, they failed to provide the extra $20 million for medication to treat rare diseases, and didn’t cover the cost for the promised 1800 more Police on the beat. We will be watching to see if they keep their promises this year.
All the best for the Winter months ahead, and if there is anything I can do to help, or if you have ideas or issues you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to get in touch with my St Albans office on 03 365 8297 or firstname.lastname@example.org.