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Labour getting desperate with the chequebook

Labour getting desperate with the chequebook

A desperate Labour Party is making promises the country simply couldn't afford as it tries to buy its way into contention at the election, Associate Finance Minister Steven Joyce says

"We are hardly out of the starting blocks for this election campaign and the Labour Party has given up any remaining sense of fiscal responsibility," Mr Joyce says.

“Today's announcement of free doctor visits and free prescriptions for the over 65s is the latest in a series of big spending promises.

Mr Joyce says so far Labour has pledged billions and billions of new spending.

“Labour has announced policies that on their own admission add up to more than $16 billion of new spending over four years. And the true total is likely to be higher because some of the policies have been costed incorrectly,” Mr Joyce says.

“And that's before you add in the Greens and other coalition partners like Internet-Mana.

“New Zealand has yet to achieve its first surplus since the Global Financial Crisis and the Canterbury earthquakes – and the Labour Party has broken out the Santa Claus outfits.

"The last time Labour went into spending overdrive in 2008, it pushed floating mortgage rates to almost 11 per cent, it sent the economy into recession before the Global Financial Crisis and it left the incoming National Government with a deficit of nearly $4 billion in 2008/09. It's clear David Cunliffe has learnt nothing from that experience.

“It's becoming obvious unusually early in this campaign – New Zealand simply can’t afford a Labour/Greens/Internet-Mana Government.”

ends

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