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Govt should heed report on low-quality spending

Amy Adams - Finance

18 September 2018

A new report that finds much state spending is poor quality is a timely reminder that Governments need to strive to do better and reduce the tax burden on New Zealanders, National’s Finance spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“New Zealand is now a very highly taxed economy. A NZ Initiative report finds that taxes in New Zealand rose four times faster than incomes in the 20th century and that taxes now take more of our income than in almost any country outside of Europe.

“The report cites analysis that if Government spending was as efficient as in South Korea, New Zealand could cut its spending by a third, while still achieving the same outcomes. It also says significant new spending and regulation ‘is driven by political coalition-forming deals and ill-justified political campaign promises that become sacrosanct’.

“The last National Government strived to lift the quality of spending, with a range of measures to improve public sector accountability for outcomes such as our Better Public Service Targets and our social investment work.

National campaigned on tax cuts because we believe people should keep more of what they earn. But the current Government has got things back to front, putting up taxes while embarking on loosely conceived spending with little economic analysis.

“In just 10 months of this coalition, we have seen $2.8 billion committed for fees-free tertiary education that isn’t delivering any extra students. A whopping $900 million is being spent on foreign affairs and diplomats and billions is being allocated to an NZ First slush fund.

“The Government is spending millions on an untargeted baby bonus that goes to rich people who don’t need it and a winter energy payment that goes to millionaire retirees.

“In fact they are spending so much that NZIER forecasts snow show the Government will break its own Budget Responsibility Rules.

“National knows how hard ordinary New Zealanders work to help their families get ahead. The Government shouldn’t be wasting your hard-earned money.”

ends

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