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Today’s botched budget reinforces that you can’t trust this Government with the economy, National’s Finance spokeswoman Amy Adams says.

“Today’s budget continues the Government’s song sheet of more taxes, more debt and a slowing economy.

“The so-called Wellbeing Budget has revealed that the core part of the Government’s economic plan is subsidies for KiwiRail and little else. No wonder job growth is going backwards and there are 13,000 more people on a benefit.

“Today’s Budget shows the Government will increase Net Core Crown Debt by another $5 billion by 2023 and the Government has left itself no wriggle room on its fiscal responsibility rules.  As the economy continues to slow, the Government is likely to break its self-imposed targets.

“In 2022 there is forecast to be a net debt to GDP of 19.95 per cent, just $180 million within its 20 per cent debt target. If the Treasury’s growth forecasts prove too optimistic - as appears likely - the Government will have no choice but to cut spending, increase taxes or break its promise to New Zealanders.

“A strong economy is the best way to improve the living standards of New Zealanders as it puts more in their back pockets and gives the Government more for core services like Health, Education and Infrastructure.

“Surpluses over the next five years are $9 billion below where they were at HYEFU – just six months ago. That is a clear sign the Government is struggling to manage the books whilst it is overseeing a weakening economy.

“You can’t trust this Government to manage the economy. This botched budget is not transformational. It is spending tomorrow’s money today and will be a disappointment to New Zealanders.”

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