With Business Confidence this month at its lowest level since the Global Financial Crisis, it is now time for Grant Robertson to front up to New Zealanders with some idea of his real economic plan and the actual costs of the new Coalition Government, National Party Finance Spokesperson Steven Joyce says.
“Six weeks on from the announcement of the new Government, the Finance Minister is making his first major speech,” Mr Joyce says. “It is important tomorrow for him to provide some meaningful details on what the Coalition will do and how they will pay for it.
“The public and the business sector need to know the overall costs of Labour’s major policies and the costs of the coalition agreements with New Zealand First and the Greens. And they need to know what debt levels Mr Robertson will tolerate as he implements those policies.”
Mr Joyce says there has been a lack of detail on many aspects of the finance portfolio since the election.
“We’ve had no costings released for anything except the Paid Parental Leave changes. The Reserve Bank has confirmed it is in the dark on most of the coalition’s policies and is playing a ‘wait and see’ game.
“Even the Treasury has been told very little. Mr Robertson revealed in Parliament yesterday that he hadn’t even asked Treasury to cost the coalition document before it was signed. This means major policies like tertiary education, regional development and police remain un-costed.
“We also need Mr Robertson’s understanding as to how the New Zealand economy is travelling and whether he expects it to grow faster or slower than predicted in the Pre-Election Fiscal Update.”
Mr Joyce says that the announcement of the actual date of the Half Yearly Update and Budget Policy Statement would also be revealing.
“With the appointment of a new Finance Minister it would make sense to release the update at the end of next week as the previous Government did last year.
“At the very latest it should be the following week. New Zealanders need the confidence of knowing what the new government is doing.
“We’ve all now heard Mr Robertson talk about the purpose of the economy, the need for partnership and being an active government. Now’s the time to front up with some facts.”