Debt changes deserve scrutiny

Labour’s decision to block Parliamentary scrutiny of the Government’s new approach to debt is anti-democratic, National’s Finance spokesperson Nicola Willis says.

Ms Willis lodged a motion with the Finance and Expenditure Committee today, requesting a briefing on the Government’s new fiscal rules from Treasury officials. This motion was blocked by Labour MPs.

“The Government’s changes to their fiscal rules, announced last week, allow them to borrow twice as much as they could previously, and change how we measure debt in this country.

“These are significant changes to the way the Government manages New Zealand’s finances and it is Parliament’s job to scrutinise those changes. It is unconscionable that Members of Parliament have been blocked from carrying out our constitutional responsibilities.

“This was a simple motion, that National, Act, and the Greens all voted for. If Labour is confident about these changes, they should welcome the chance for Government officials to brief us about them. Instead they are running for the hills.

“It leaves us asking: what have they got to hide?”