Parliament

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

 

Please note…correction

17 July 2002

Please note … correction

The costings of National policy released today contained a small error, the effect of which was to understate the level of National’s fiscal indiscipline.

The total on page 10 should read $2610 million, not $2440 million. Our initial conservative allocation for National’s health promises was $230 million a year but we subsequently raised this to $400 million after Bill English told Hawkes Bay Today that National would pump another $400 million a year into health on top of the $500 million a year increase over the next three years already factored into the 2002 budget.

We neglected, however, to carry the new figure through to the page 10 total. This measures the combined costs of National’s programme against the $2,400 million Labour has earmarked for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

National is claiming that it can finance its spending promises out of the “savings” it will make by dismantling the Fund. Plainly, it cannot.

And the problem is worse than the $2610 figure suggests as we have been deliberately conservative in our costings and, where the policy was too vague to be costed in any meaningful way, we have left it out.

***

Corrected Page 10

operating surplus track will be radically lower. But even then, the amounts it intends to commit to tax and spending plans are larger than the amounts of fund transfers by some 74 percent.

There are therefore three possibilities:

- Radically smaller operating surpluses with the threat of a return to deficits if the economy weakens.

- A halt to, or paring back of, vital capital works in the areas of schools, hospitals, roads and the like.

- Increased debt.

Even that is just the start of the story. With conservative assumptions and no costing of large elements of National’s list of promises, it is easy to see how National would use up more than the full $2,400 million a year envisaged by the time of the end of the Parliamentary term.

It would go on ($million a year)

Health 400

Education 400

Tertiary education 230

Transport 290

Defence 700

Children’s policies 100

Law and Order 130

Superannuation 120

Conservation 90

Veterans 50.

Treaty 100

Total 2610

If the intention is to continue with a rising health funding path, the $400 million annual increase that ends in 2005 will need to be added in to this list of 2006 expenses.

This would require no other extra spending during the term. It implies a three-year wage freeze for police, teachers, the defence forces and other public servants. It assumes no unforeseen events like peacekeeping duties or response to biosecurity threats.

Worse, it leaves out the myriad of uncostable promises to do things like put “a lot more money in the budget for industry and regional development”, increase funding for aged care residential services, and dozens of other big ticket items.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Scaring Voters Back Into Line

Fear has always been a useful mobilising tool in politics… yet in 2017, bogeymen of all shapes and sizes seem to have fallen on hard times. For years, the National party had painted itself as being the only reliable defensive bastion against the terrifying prospect of a centre-left government…

In fact, the polls suggest that the public seems to quite like the new government, its Prime Minister, and its proposed plan of action. Somehow, even though a Labour/Greens/NZ First government is in power, the sun is still rising and setting, on time. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Drinking Water As A Failure Of Political Leadership

It is almost possible to feel sorry for the Health Ministry in their terrible, no good, very bad week... More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Saying ‘Work For The Dole,’ Nicely

As New Zealand First learned the hard way from its two previous periods in government, small parties in MMP coalitions get blamed for the unpopular stuff done by their senior partner in power, but no one remembers the good stuff the junior player brought to the table... More>>

ALSO:

Seismic Blasting: Greenpeace Launches Legal Challenge Against Amazon Warrior

A legal challenge against the world’s largest seismic oil exploration ship was launched at a public rally on Parliament Lawn. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: 80,000 People Eligible For Fees Free

The Government has today made good on its 100-day promise of delivering the first year of fees-free post school training and education and industry training from 1 January next year, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Presser: Rebuilding Cathedrals, Felling Trees

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended the press conference today with Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Dr Megan Woods to announce urgent legislation this week for the rebuilding of the Christ Church Cathedral. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages