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


National gets ready to spin $13 billion debt bill

1 August 2008 Media Statement

National gets ready to spin $13 billion debt bill

With the National Party widely expected to begin arguing the case for a massive expansion in government debt at their conference this weekend, Finance Minister Michael Cullen has issued a list of words and phrases John Key and Bill English are likely to employ as they try to pretend they are not borrowing for tax cuts.

After committing a huge policy flip flop by pledging not to change the Working for Families programme – which Mr Key had previously attacked as middle class welfare – the National Party has come under pressure to reveal how their tax cut package will be funded.

“John Key’s flip flops have left him in a fiscal bind,” Dr Cullen said. “The only real answer is to whip out the public credit card to fund his election campaign spend up.

“Mr Key will try to pretend that his new borrowing programme will be for an ‘infrastructure revolution.’ But given that the Labour-led government is already delivering the largest road building programme in New Zealand history, the largest hospital building programme in history, the biggest energy infrastructure investment in more than a generation, and a revitalisation of the rail network, Mr Key’s ‘Great Leap Forward’ will be pure spin.

“John Key would borrow for tax cuts if elected, and he would pass the bill to our children. That’s just crazy.”

Dr Cullen said National will sell their borrowing programme by talking about:

- ‘leveraging’ the government’s balance sheet
- ‘scope’ for a ‘modest’ increase in borrowing
- A ‘responsible’ programme of borrowing
- Allowing SOEs to issue ‘infrastructure bonds’
- Central government ‘partnering’ with local government to fund infrastructure programmes
- Appointing a ‘Minister for Infrastructure’ to oversee the programme
- Public Private Partnerships
- Infrastructure as ‘future economic heritage’
- ‘Streamlined’ infrastructure programme
- ‘Investment principles’

Borrowing is already forecast to rise over the next few years, but without breaking the government’s goal of keeping debt at around 20 per cent of GDP. Lifting that target to 25 per cent would generate $13.3 billion available for extra spending.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Populism’s Changing Of The Guard, Plus A Soul Music Playlist

The weekend’s Newshub/Reid Research poll results - Act up to 11.1%, National up 1% but still sitting at only 28.7%, Labour down to 43%, the Greens up to 8.5% - shows that the combined centre right vote is still languishing nearly 12 points behind the combined centre-left vote, 45 months after the last centre-right government was voted out... More>>


Finance: Finance Minister And RBNZ Governor Agree To Update MOU On Macro-prudential Policy

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr have updated the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on macro-prudential policy to further protect the financial system and support the Government’s housing objectives... More>>

Government: Offers Formal Apology For Dawn Raids
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today formally apologised to Pacific communities impacted by the Dawn Raids in the 1970s.

Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families... More>>

Government: Bill Introduced To Protect Against Conversion Practices

Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression... More>>


Human Rights Commission: Successive Governments Responsible For Massive Breaches Of The Right To A Decent Home

Te Kahu Tika Tangata / Human Rights Commission has today launched Framework Guidelines on the Right to a Decent Home in Aotearoa and announced that it will hold a national inquiry into housing... More>>

NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>




InfoPages News Channels