18 Feb 2024
New Zealanders know that Labour can’t stop wasteful spending, with the Government breaking its spending commitments every single year since coming to office, National’s Finance spokesperson Nicola Willis says.
“New Zealanders feeling the brunt of dire economic conditions know that Labour can’t stop wasteful spending.
“Every single year, Grant Robertson has blown the budget and broken his spending limits - because Labour can’t manage money and wasteful spending is in Labour’s DNA.
“The result is billions and billions of dollars in wasteful spending, which has driven high inflation and high interest rates that is causing financial pain for households as confirmed by Treasury’s latest forecasts.
“Labour’s inability to manage their spending is being reflected in the skyrocketing mortgage repayments and cost-of-living crisis that hardworking Kiwis are enduring all over the country, and will do for longer.
“Before the last election Labour promised spending this year would be $116.1 billion. Instead it is $139 billion. That's because Mr Robertson and Labour always spend more than they say they will.
“In the 2020 PREFU Labour set future budget allowances at $2.4 billion for Budgets 2021 and 2022, and $2.6 billion for Budget 2023. Instead they blew out to $3.8 billion, $6.4 billion and $4.8 billion respectively.
“A significant share of that increase in spending has been in the public service. Since 2017, head count in the public service has grown by 13,172 – a 27 per cent increase in staff. That staff blowout includes a 72 per cent increase at MBIE, a 137 per cent increase at the Ministry for the Environment, and a 62 per cent increase at the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.
“The 2023 PREFU shows an additional $6.9 billion of spending, delayed deficits and debt blowing out to over $100 billion. And it highlights significant fiscal risks around funding requirements for poor quality projects like Lake Onslow and light rail.
“While Kiwi families are trimming their own budgets to navigate the cost-of-living crisis, Labour continues to splash the cash like there’s no tomorrow and there’s nothing to suggest they will stop. In fact, Labour’s own track record shows they will continue to break their spending commitments.
“Incredibly, just six weeks before the election even Labour accepted there are savings to be made in the public sector, but every Kiwi knows that Labour don’t know how to deliver savings.
“After six years of reckless economic mismanagement, National will rebuild the economy and let Kiwis keep more of what they earn. We’ll rein in Labour’s addiction to expensive contractors and consultants and run the ruler over Wellington – ensuring taxpayers aren’t treated like a fiscal punching bag for Grant Robertson to abuse.
“National will stop the waste and restore discipline to government spending, while protecting all frontline services.”