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

Spying On Politicians, Activists, Iwi, Quake Victims: "Failings Across Public Service"

A State Services Commission investigation into the use of external security consultants by government agencies has uncovered failings across the public service, including breaches of the code of conduct...

However, the inquiry found no evidence of widespread inappropriate surveillance by external security consultants on behalf of government agencies. More>>


Doesn’t Compromise Sovereignty: NZ To Back UN Migration Compact

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand will support the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration after being satisfied fears about the document are unfounded. More>>


Children's Commissioner: Child Poverty Law "Historic Cause For Celebration"

...It represents a cross-party commitment to a fundamental shift of policy for our most disadvantaged children and should help undo 30 years of damage to children from our most vulnerable families. More>>


Dope News: Binding Cannabis Referendum To Be Held At 2020 Election

The referendum on cannabis for personal use is part of Labour's confidence and supply agreement with the Greens. It could be one of potentially three referenda - decisions have yet to be made about euthanasia and changes to electoral laws. More>>


Vic: Victoria University Name Change Rejected

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has declined Victoria University of Wellington Council’s application for a legal name change. More>>


PM's Post-Cab 17/12/18: Chief Justice, M Bovis

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's final post-cabinet press conference of the year focussed on announcing the appointment of Helen Winkelmann as the next Chief Justice, and an update on effort to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis from New Zealand. More>>


Law Commission Issues Paper: Use Of DNA In Criminal Investigations

In the 22 years since the Act came into force, it has become clear that the modern-day fingerprint analogy is increasingly inapt... Theoretically, whole genome sequencing could ultimately become the standard method of analysing a DNA sample. Such a development will give a new perspective on the concept of genetic surveillance in the criminal context. More>>

State Highways: $1.4 Billion For Road Safety Improvements

The Safe Network Programme will make 870 kilometres of high volume, high-risk State Highways safer by 2021 with improvements like median and side barriers, rumble strips, and shoulder widening. More>>





InfoPages News Channels