Parliament

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

 

Cullen falls silent on fiscal challenges

14 December 2004

Smooth Cullen falls silent on NZ's long-term fiscal challenges

The Labour Government's Budget Policy Statement is devoid of strategic thinking and wilfully ignores the major fiscal challenges ahead for New Zealand, the Green Party says.

"For all his smooth rhetoric, Dr Cullen falls silent when it comes to tackling the big economic problems facing our nation," Green Co-Leader Rod Donald said.

"Dr Cullen is smug about the nice, fat wallet in his pocket, but he has failed to deliver the long-term, strategic plan we need to future proof our economy.

"New Zealand faces some major fiscal challenges in the coming decades - such as our ageing population, the balance of payments and trade deficits, how to respond to the impacts of increasing oil scarcity and climate change and the need to clean up contaminated sites - but Dr Cullen has no serious plans to deal with them.

"The Government has its head in the sand when it comes to oil. Expecting the price to drop to $US35-a-barrel (page 30) shows Treasury has learnt nothing from its Budget debacle, where it projected oil would drop to $US19.50-a-barrel."

The facts are: oil demand is growing (the Government admits this growth is structural), oil reserves are depleting and, logically, oil prices will continue to trend up, not down.

"Dr Cullen was also being completely irresponsible in his mapping out of the fiscal consequences of our ageing population," Mr Donald said.

"He has forecasted that underlying health spending, before adjustment is made for demography and inflation, will actually fall after 2007. Given New Zealand's spiralling health costs brought on by a quickly ageing population, this is scarcely credible financial forecasting.

"The Government's avoidance of New Zealand's balance of payments and trade deficits is of major concern.

"The BPS reveals that the Government will be making no real effort to tackle or take seriously the balance of payments problem. It forecasts that the current account deficit will run at 6 per cent of GDP in 2007.

"It is time for the Government to acknowledge that we've got a permanent, structural balance of payments deficit, otherwise we will have to keep selling off New Zealand and / or increasing national debt to pay for our failure to control spending.

"Labour should be using its large projected surpluses to invest in more sustainable infrastructure, such as rail and public transport and renewable energy and conservation. It should also be providing our young people with a taxpayer-funded education to ensure they are highly productive and committed citizens," said Mr Donald.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Why Herd Immunity Isn’t A Valid Option, And What’s With Our Reluctance To Wear Masks?

Herd immunity has recently bounced back into the headlines as a tool for managing Covid-19, and as a supposed alternative to lockdowns. In the US, a group of scientists was recently brought together in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts by a think tank funded by the Koch brothers. The assembled scientists signed the so called Barrington Declaration, which promotes herd immunity as a rational means of re-opening US public schools and the economy at large... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ... More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>

ALSO:


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

PSA: Labour-Led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency

The Public Service Association welcomes the progressive electoral landslide New Zealand voters delivered on Saturday, and the union says its members look forward to implementing policies that reduce poverty and inequality, support affordable housing ... More>>

ALSO:


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>

ALSO:

Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Four-Year Terms Of Parliament, And On How The US Courts Are Dismantling Democracy

Last week, the issue of four-year parliamentary terms surfaced again. Infuriatingly, it is being discussed purely in terms of its convenience for political parties. They’d get so much more time to enact their policies, free of scrutiny or sanction by voters ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels