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Crime, quakes and cost connections

Clayton Mitchell
New Zealand First MP

This blue government doesn't see the connection between actions like funding cuts to police, changes in insurance premiums, tax cuts, and superannuation, but New Zealand First knows regular New Zealanders do, because they are the ones who have to deal with poor policy and legislation at the coal face.

At a recent Neighbourhood Watch meeting, police officers informed attendees there was no point contacting them about burglaries, because the police simply can't respond to them. Especially after losing 24 officers in the past 15 months due to stress and overwork.

We know the police budget has been frozen since this blue government took power in 2008 and drip-feeding an extra 880 staff over the next four years is not going to deal with the burglaries going on in Tauranga today.

And when burglary numbers increase – a real growth industry under this blue government – home contents insurance premiums will be following them upwards pretty quickly. Last month we had nine aggravated burglaries in our region, where we would normally expect one, and one local was telling me her contents insurance premium had already gone up in April by $75, while superannuation had only gone up $7.

Updated earthquake levies for this same local are expected to increase by $200-300 this year. That $7 was only expected to keep pace with everyday cost of living increases.

Let's face facts. Whether you get $1 or $26 next April, for voting blue in September, your premiums, earthquake levies, and cost of living increases will leave you struggling to do more with less, just like our police have to.

From 2005-2008 New Zealand First delivered 1000 new police, and – because we are the only party serious about law and order – we will get an extra 1800 new police officers quickly on the beat once we're in government.

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