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Government needs to put a ceiling on debt

15 November 2017

Government needs to put a ceiling on debt

The new Coalition Government needs to rapidly put a ceiling on the debt levels it’s prepared to tolerate as it opens wide the taxpayers chequebook, National Party Finance Spokesperson Steven Joyce says.

“The admissions in Parliament today from Grant Robertson that he may allow debt to grow by more than $11 billion compared to the figures in the Government’s Pre-Election Fiscal Update will be concerning to all Kiwis,” Mr Joyce says.

“When I invited him to re-commit to his pre-election promise of limiting debt to no more than $67.6 billion, he refused.

“So what is Mr Robertson’s upper limit? Is it $70 billion or $75 billion? The major bank economists certainly believe it will be higher than he thinks.

“Remember net government debt was on track to reduce to $56 billion only two months ago.

“Mr Robertson’s admission follows hard on the heels of three bank reports that say the Government’s spending plans are unrealistic and ‘too tight to be credible’.

“The ANZ even says there will be no way the Government is able to meet its own Budget Responsibility Rule on debt.

“Mr Robertson needs to haul himself into line along with the rest of the Cabinet so that the increased debt predictions of the major trading banks don’t come to pass.

“New Zealanders have all worked hard to get the Government books back into surplus and start reducing the debt built up as a result of the Global Financial Crisis and the Canterbury earthquakes.

“The public will be surprised at how quickly Mr Robertson is backing away from his own numbers when he’s only been in the job three weeks.”


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