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


More fudgeiting in National’s Budget



Revenue Spokesperson
More fudgeiting in National’s Budget

Buried in the Specific Fiscal Risks section of the Budget documents are expenses that should have been booked in the Budget - were they not a threat to the Government’s maiden surplus, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson David Clark.

“The extension of artificially high ACC levies and dressing up transport spending as a loan were big fudges in an attempt to claim a credible surplus. But as more detail emerges, the picture looks even murkier.

“The Government has explicitly signalled that the KiwiSaver auto-enrolment scheme costing up to $290 million will not be booked as long as it remains a threat to its constructed surplus.

“Contrast National’s evasiveness on KiwiSaver auto-enrolment with Labour’s carefully costed universal scheme. National’s slight of hand should be exposed for what it is – a failure of leadership, with number-fudging that would make even the most hardened tax accountant blush.

“Add to this Treasury’s view that risks to $290 million worth of soft (non-commercial) loans to local councils and iwi may have been insufficiently accounted for in the main estimates.

“Budget blow-out risks associated with caregiver employment conditions are very real with separate disagreements yet to be settled over equal pay claims and understanding of the Minimum Wage Act.

“There is a strong hint that assumptions around outstanding student debt will soon be revised, wiping value off the Government’s books. While the datasets have changed, the policy and cost implications couldn’t be processed in time for the budget.

“Likewise, some changes signalled in the Vulnerable Children’s White Paper have been booked; other future costs ‘are still being developed’.

“Maybe the reason these fiscal risks are not fully accounted for in the main estimates is the threat they represent to the wafer thin surplus. No one wants one of those Monty Python’s Mr Creosote moments.

“How can these policies be implemented with current costs known and no proper estimation accounting for the future? They are deliberately refusing to put the puzzle pieces together. The Government should be pressed on why it didn’t see fit to put them together for Budget day.

“In truth, it is hard to get a finance minister to develop understanding sufficient to quantify future fiscal costs - when his surplus depends upon him not understanding them,” says David Clark.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news