Budget 2017: Political reactions to 'election bribe'

Finance Minister Steven Joyce's Budget has fallen flat with the Opposition, which criticises its promised tax cuts as an "election bribe".

The Budget promises a $2.2 billion Family Incomes Package which will include changes to tax thresholds and credits.

Kiwis earning more than $52,000 will be in line for an extra $1000 a year with the changes.

But Labour leader Andrew Little has criticised it as an "irresponsible election bribe", saying the Budget "does nothing to address to shortfalls in health, housing and education, and in fact makes them worse".

He's calling it the "One Dollar Bill Budget".

"For all National's talk about tax cuts, the reality is that a single cleaner on a minimum wage will get just $1 a week extra," Mr Little said.

"The big winners of this Budget are the top earners who take home most of the tax benefits."

His thoughts are echoed by Green Party co-leader James Shaw, who says it's a "tax cut for the rich in disguise".

"Those on the highest incomes will get the bulk of the benefit. Families on the highest incomes receive a tax cut of $33.22 while those in the bottom quintile get just $5 a week," he said.

"This is not what low and middle income earners need."

Meanwhile the Māori party is pleased with the boosts given to whānau aspirations, totalling $122 million across several initiatives.

"While the dollar amounts differ every year, our relentless focus remains the same - whānau is at the heart of everything we do, and the Budget announcements today underscore our belief in kaupapa Māori solutions - by us, for us, and for our future," Māori party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell said.

Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft has praised the $500,000 funding increase for independent monitoring as a way to "help ensure that [children in care and youth justice residences] are secure, safe and thriving".

Prime Minister Bill English says the Budget delivers for Kiwis "from a Government that cares about people and knows how to get things done".

"[Strong economic growth] translates to more jobs and higher incomes and gives us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to raise living standards for all New Zealanders," he said.

"This Budget sets out the next steps in our plan to do that."

But the Green Party says the lack of contribution towards housing shows National has "once and for all given up on addressing the causes of the housing crisis".

"The Government expects rents to keep rising, and more people to require emergency housing. It has admitted defeat in the face of the housing crisis," Mr Shaw said.

Newshub.

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