18 Feb 2024
Labour’s spending promises will see government debt skyrocket even further, with no funding set aside for $51 billion of policy commitments like Light Rail and Lake Onslow, National’s Finance spokesperson Nicola Willis says.
“Labour’s economic mismanagement has seen government debt blow out from $5 billion in 2019 to over $100 billion. But that is just the tip of the iceberg, with major policy commitments remaining unfunded.
Major Labour policies that remain unfunded include:
- Auckland Light Rail, expected to cost up to $29.2 billion
- Wellington Light Rail, expected to cost around $5 billion
- Lake Onslow power scheme, expected to cost $15.7 billion
- Income insurance, which would cost the government as an employer $860 million over four years
- GST free fruit and vegetables, which is estimated to cost an extra $411 million over four years
“Every single year, Grant Robertson has blown the budget and broken his spending limits - because Labour can’t manage money and wasteful spending is in Labour’s DNA.
“The result is billions and billions of dollars in wasteful spending, which has driven high inflation and high interest rates, and pushed the return to surplus out yet again.
“This $51 billion hole in Labour’s policy commitments shows Labour’s spending addiction is set to spiral out of control even further.
“Even before accounting for these policies, interest costs on Labour’s debt are going to reach $11 billion per year – more than we spend on schools. But it will just get worse with three more years of Labour.
“Under National, all of these policies will be immediately scrapped.
“National will restore discipline to government spending. We’ll rein in Labour’s addiction to expensive contractors and consultants and run the ruler over Wellington to ensure every dollar is treated carefully.
“New Zealand can’t afford another three years of Labour – let alone three years of Labour, the Greens and Te Pāti Māori with their plans for a wealth tax, jobs tax, trust tax, and more fuel tax.
“National will stop the waste while protecting frontline services. It’s all part of National’s plan to rebuild the economy so Kiwis can get ahead.
“A strong economy means less inflation, higher incomes, and lower mortgage costs. It’s how New Zealand can afford to invest in the public services that matter – like health, education and law and order.”