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Labour reheating same old spending recipe

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister for Economic Development

27 January 2014

Labour reheating same old spending recipe

The Labour Party is showing that after five years in Opposition and three Opposition Leaders they still haven’t learned any lessons from their last time in Government.

“Once again, the moment we get a lift in the economy, they want to start bribing people with massive extra spending. We haven’t even got to the end of January and Labour and the Greens are already promising to spend the thick end of an extra three quarters of a billion dollars a year,” Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

“It’s like the GFC never happened: Labour’s last big spending splurges between 2005 and 2008 increased the deficit, dramatically increased interest costs, and put the economy into premature recession.

“And today they are back again singing from the same song sheet. Mr Cunliffe has to come clean with New Zealanders on where the money is coming from. Is it even more taxes, more borrowing and much higher interest rates; or is he getting out Russel Norman’s printing presses?

“Mr Cunliffe acts as if he has magically got $1.5 billion a year to spend because he cancelled some already-cancelled Labour Party policies last week that have never been budgeted in the country’s accounts.

“I have news for Mr Cunliffe. There was no GST off fruit and veges in Treasury’s forward projections, and no tax-free threshold to take out, so cancelling them (yet again) doesn’t save anything. For that matter there’s no money in there for their multi-billion dollar government building policy either.

“The real answer to lifting Kiwi incomes is attracting investment that boosts jobs, growth and people’s incomes. You can’t spend your way to prosperity. This Government understands that and is building a stronger economy to provide higher incomes for Kiwi families.

“Labour and the Greens want to spend it before we’ve got it and, at the same time, bring in risky backward-looking economic policies that would cost jobs and squash growth.

“That recipe will bring the same results as their last one: fewer jobs, less growth, higher spending, higher taxes and higher interest rates.

“Labour needs to get real about government spending and get real about the negative effect of its policies on Kiwi families and the New Zealand economy.”


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