Labour-Greens launch blitz on 'failing' Bill English
Labour leader Andrew Little and Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei have launched a political bombing blitz on Bill English, saying he has already failed as Prime Minister and isn't a real leader.
The comments were the cornerstone of a joint 'State of the Nation' speech in Auckland this afternoon, attended by hundreds of supporters who packed out the overflowing Mt Albert War Memorial Hall.
Mr Little says the new National leader has ignored the housing crisis, cut funding to health and education, and sold off state houses.
He also attacked Mr English for shunning Waitangi Day celebrations, boycotting the Mt Albert by-election, reinstating Nick Smith as the minister in charge of housing, and supporting the decision to seal the Pike River mine.
Ms Turei says Mr English only does what is politically easy, instead of what is politically right.
"We have a new Prime Minister who believes Government can do no more. A Prime Minister who won't end poverty. A Prime Minister who is the architect of the housing crisis. A Prime Minister who accepts locking out an entire generation from warm, safe, and affordable housing."
"We got a new Prime Minister last year, but we don't have a leader," says Mr Little. "Since taking the reins, Bill English has failed his first tests of leadership.
"Bill English is a competent bean counter, but he's showing he's not a leader."
He took aim at Mr English's record on housing, saying every day National governs, "the Kiwi dream slips further away for more and more people".
"Bill English has to take responsibility. He cut the budgets for health and education. He's ignored the housing crisis and sold our state houses. The buck stops with him.
"National is out of ideas and out of touch. They’ve got nothing new to offer."
There was no policy announcement in either speech, like has been the case in previous years.