Prime Minister John Key has taunted Andrew Little in Parliament, calling him "Dr Dolittle" and saying he's done virtually nothing since becoming Labour Party leader.
"He's been in the job 84 days and the only reason he's a success is that he's not David Cunliffe," Mr Key said when Parliament opened today.
Mr Little replaced Mr Cunliffe after Labour last year suffered its worst election defeat in nearly a century.
Mr Key used his speech to list the Government's achievements and promise sound economic management for the next three years.
Mr Little, who followed Mr Key in Parliament's first debate of the year, accused him of being "nasty and petty" while offering nothing new.
"The Government has mastered the art of window dressing, giving the appearance of doing something while actually doing nothing."
Mr Key earlier tabled a statement setting out the Government's plans for the year and its legislative programme.
He said the economy was on track to grow by an average 3 percent over the next three years with incomes rising faster than inflation.
The statement confirmed the May Budget would deliver new spending of at least $1 billion, with most of it going to health and education.
It explained the legislative programme for the year, in most cases confirming previously announced initiatives:
- A focus on helping families and children in hardship, with the Budget containing "some measures" to address this
- From July 1, free doctor visits and prescriptions will be extended to children under 13
- More elective surgery and shorter waiting times
- A stronger response to prevent family violence, with a focus on gangs and gang lifestyles
- The review of intelligence and security agencies, and the legislation covering them, will start by June 30
- Support for special needs students will be increased
- Funding for schools to establish or enhance Asian language programmes
- From April 1, the Parental Tax Credit will increase from $150 a week to $220 a week, and the period of entitlement will increase from eight to 10 weeks.
source: newshub archive