As a consequence of the Government’s anti-growth policies NZIER is now predicting it will not meet its own budget responsibility rule of keeping core Crown debt below 20 per cent of GDP by 2022, says Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges.

“Grant Robertson has tied his economic credibility to his ability to reduce debt to below 20 per cent of GDP by 2022. Today’s NZIER quarterly predictions forecast the target will be missed by $2 billion.

“And this doesn’t even take into account the extra $6 billion in Crown Entity debt the Minister has hidden off the balance sheet in the last Budget.

“The Government has been spending up large and hoping the next rainy day doesn’t happen under its watch – but its own anti-growth policies are putting a handbrake on the economy and causing debt forecasts to rise.

“They’re not treating taxpayers’ money with the respect it deserves - instead throwing billions at a slush fund for New Zealand First, foreign diplomats and a tertiary fees policy that isn’t delivering any extra students.

“NZIER have also signalled there are risks that debt will blow-out even further – highlighting increased downside risks to the economy.

“Bad economic policies and uncertainty for businesses are quickly eroding previously hard-earned gains. The consequences of this Government’s economic mismanagement are going to be felt for many years to come.”

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