Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Cullen $6.5 Billion Out-Of-Step With Treasury

Minister Of Finance $6.5 Billion Out-Of-Step With Treasury

Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Treasury Secretary Alan Bollard have today contradicted each other on the government's key fiscal target, National's Finance spokesman Bill English said today.

The Government has a target of government expenses at 35% of GDP. Dr Cullen today said the 35% target also includes billions of dollars to be contributed to the new superfund. However, Dr Bollard told the Finance & Expenditure Committee that the target, following generally accepted accounting practice (GAAP), did not include those contributions.

"The Minister of Finance and the Secretary of Treasury cannot agree on a fundamental pillar of good management of the government's accounts," Mr English said.

"Public accountability for taxpayers money depends on the government keeping the books open. The display today at the Finance & Expenditure Committee was disgraceful. It is unprecedented for the two senior fiscal managers to disagree over such a fundamental issue as the definition of government expenditure.

"Treasury uses a definition in accordance with well-established accounting rules designed to promote transparency. Dr Cullen's own personal definition is intended to avoid the embarrassment Labour would feel by announcing it had reduced its government spending target.

"Over the next four years, the difference between the two is $6.5 billion, almost as big as the whole health budget," Bill English said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news