A lively and humorous analysis of the 2021 Budget by Act leader David Seymour drew an engaged crowd at a Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce event on Monday evening.

Around 60 people, including former Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae, came to hear Seymour’s perspective at the event, where attendees had the opportunity to quiz him on a range of different topics.

Seymour said he believed the Budget, announced on May 20th, failed in five areas – monetary policy around interest and debt, not upgrading the response to COVID-19, not focusing enough on skills for young people, the increase in spending on welfare and missing an opportunity to make meaningful changes to Pharmac.

However, positive aspects of the Budget included spending on health issues such as the funding of cochlear implants and self-testing kits for cervical smears, Seymour said.

Seymour also outlined his opinion on education, saying he thought the Government’s new curriculum, for which consultation has just closed, was “inward-looking and backward”.

Questions from attendees were well-informed and covered topics such as funding apprenticeships, the debate around extending New Zealand’s term of government from three to four years, and the proposed future of the Resource Management Act. The questions came from a mix of political perspectives.

Seymour said the Chamber event, and those similar, were vital for hearing what people are concerned about.

“It’s important to hear what’s on people’s minds, even though I end up doing a lot of the talking,” he said.

“People here were up for a detailed debate and asked detailed questions, and were engaged and thoughtful”.

Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce Co-Chair Jacinda Thorn said the Chamber was pleased to have been able to host Seymour.

“It’s incredibly valuable for our business community to be able to connect with political leaders. It was an open and engaging discussion, which was of great value to our audience,” says Jacinda Thorn.