New Zealand First says the Government has seriously compromised community safety by using the Budget as an electioneering tool and neglecting essential areas like law and order.
“The Department of Corrections has had their funding cut by $100 million,” says Spokesperson for Corrections Le’aufa’amulia Asenati Lole-Taylor.
“The question needs to be asked, where will they slash and burn to save $100 million. Do they seriously think they can reduce the prison population.
Umm yes. There are 8,520 prisoners currently, down from 8,755 three years ago.
“The Minister is crowing that there is less re-offending and crime is decreasing but that is just lies and statistics.
Obviously a conspiracy between the Police, Corrections, Stats NZ and the Government.
It’s clear that the Minister has been in cahoots with Finance Minister Bill English to make cuts so the government can sell a ‘surplus’ story.
Now it is true the 2014/15 vote is $100 million less than the previous vote. But most of that is reduced capital expenditure because they’re not needing to build any new prisons next year.
Maybe NZ First is demanding we build prisons that are not needed?
“They cannot possibly expect us to believe that less funding is required when there is more crime, violence, drug and alcohol abuse. The reality on our streets is devastating.
Actually crime, violence, drug and alcohol abuse are all down.
“The Government would rather justify budget cuts with an artificially low prison population but inmates are being released without proper rehabilitation, and that puts the public at risk,” says Mrs Lole-Taylor.
Reoffending is down also.
Never before seen a release ignore reality on pretty much every single issue.
Political commentator David Farrar posts at Kiwiblog.