Govt must bring back fiscal discipline

With the highest inflation in 30 years and the worst cost of living crisis in a generation, the Government must restore fiscal discipline in the upcoming Budget, National’s Finance Spokesperson Nicola Willis says.

“National believes every government has a duty to spend taxpayers’ money as effectively and efficiently as possible. This Labour Government is failing that test.

“The focus of spending should always be on outcomes, not on the spending itself. It’s simply not good enough to make the promise, print the press release, spray the cash and walk away.

“Labour has too often resorted to that approach. They allocated $2 billion for Kiwibuild, with the promise to build 100,000 homes, but so far have only built around 1300. Another $1.9 billion was announced for mental health, but no additional specialist services have been delivered.

“This Government has developed a culture that is far too tolerant of wasteful spending and lack of delivery. As Kiwis grapple with high inflation and an escalating cost of living crisis, now more than ever is the time to restore fiscal discipline.

“It is against this backdrop that National will be assessing the upcoming Budget according to whether it achieves three key priorities.”

  • Relief for the squeezed middle – Does the Budget deliver meaningful income relief for those Kiwis who don’t receive any Government entitlements?
  • Value for money – Have Ministers taken steps to cut out wasteful spending in their departments? What ineffective programmes been stopped or changed?
  • Accountability and delivery – What outcomes will be achieved for any new spending and how will they be measured? Is there a credible plan for delivering outcomes?

“Grant Robertson is giving himself the largest spending allowance in New Zealand’s history at this upcoming Budget, at a time when Kiwi households are being forced to tighten their own budgets.

“New Zealanders will be expecting that every dollar spent is absolutely necessary and will deliver better outcomes.”