Labour missing $10 billion for infrastructure

Labour needs to explain how it’s going to pay for $10 billion of funding for Light Rail and Pumped Hydro, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“For all Labour’s criticism and promises, they have yet to show New Zealanders a credible plan to grow our economy, create jobs and keep debt down. And now they’re promising billions of dollars for Light Rail and Pumped Hydro.

“We all know how Light Rail has gone, Jacinda Ardern’s big flagship policy as new Labour Leader was Light Rail completed by 2021. Despite that being an abysmal failure, Phil Twyford is committed to giving it another go next term.

“But the cost of Light Rail has been estimated at about $6 billion, with some estimates even higher. Unfortunately we don’t know the final cost because Labour have not released their costings for the project, or more importantly how it will be funded.

“It won’t be through the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF) given Grant Robertson has accused National of ‘raiding’ the NLTF to pay for some of our own ambitious transport package. Based on that logic Labour will be funding Light Rail some other way, but New Zealanders are yet to know.

“Labour needs to front up to New Zealanders and explain where they will get the money to pay for Light Rail from.

“Another pie in the sky election promise from Labour is their commitment to ‘taking the next steps to get to 100 per cent renewable with support for projects like Pumped Hydro at Lake Onslow’.

“The Prime Minister stated her commitment to Pumped Hydro at the first leaders’ debate and Grant Robertson reiterated his support for it at Mood of the Boardroom yesterday. But once again, the problem with Pumped Hydro is the enormous cost, with estimates beginning at $4 billion.

“It’s about time Labour stopped throwing stones and released their costings.

“All up, these two projects will cost $10 billion at least.

“National has released its economic plan, where is Labour’s?

“Labour are going into the election with promises to build two of the most expensive infrastructure projects in New Zealand’s history. It is not credible to have no costings or no funding.

“New Zealanders deserve to know how they are going to be paying for these projects, and whether it’s going to result in higher taxes.”