Government splurges today, we all pay dearly tomorrow

The Labour Government’s massive spending spree stepped up to a new gear, announcing $35 billion of spending in just a week with no details on how it will be paid, for says National’s Finance spokesperson Michael Woodhouse.

“Grant Robertson is overseeing the biggest increase in spending in New Zealand’s history. In just four years, Minister Robertson has allowed core government spending to increase by more than 40 per cent.

“New Zealand’s debt has already increased by 40 billion in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a massive debt burden for the next generation, and one the Government should avoid making worse.

“But, in just a week, Labour revealed a further $35 billion in spending, in the form of $14.6 billion on Auckland Light Rail, at least $5.8 billion on Wellington Rapid Transit and a new climate target that is expected to see $15 billion spent on international carbon markets.

“The Light Rail projects will be the two most expensive transport projects in New Zealand’s history, together costing 15 times more than the Waterview Tunnel. This is unless Grant Robertson doesn’t pull the rug from under Transport Minister Michael Wood again like he did with the Auckland cycle bridge fiasco.

“Grant Robertson has already overseen a $40 billion increase in New Zealand’s debt, the fastest rise in our history. Announcing a further $35 billion of spending in just one week further highlights the loose approach he has to managing the purse strings.

“This comes only a month after Treasury published a report stating that debt in this country is already on an unsustainable path given the recent trends of Government spending. No doubt these recent announcements will have Treasury officials sweating.

“Today at Question Time, I asked the Minister of Finance how he was going to pay for this. He had no answers.

“The Government may not be clear about ‘how’ the debt it is incurring will be repaid but what is clear is ‘who’ will repay it. Our children and grandchildren, many of whom haven’t even been born yet, will bear the burden of this Government’s profligate spending.

“This is unacceptable. New Zealand can’t afford to pay for all of Labour’s big-spending promises.

“Grant Robertson again lacks transparency on what he is doing with taxpayers’ money, and is further proving why he and the Labour Government cannot be trusted to take care of the New Zealand economy.”