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National set to drive us deeper into recession

National set to drive us deeper into recession

Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Cunliffe says the government accounts released today make it even clearer that National will use the economic impact of the Christchurch earthquakes to justify savage cuts to public spending in this year’s budget.

“With the Earthquake Commission estimating the net cost of the quake at $1.5 billion, National believes it has found its excuse to further its own ideological priorities, and produce a zero budget that dramatically slashes services for low to middle-income Kiwis,” David Cunliffe said.

“All that will do is to drive New Zealand even deeper into recession.

“Labour recognises the financial impact of the quake, but we need a balanced package in response,” David Cunliffe said.

“We need to borrow to smooth the cost over the time it takes to complete the recovery, we need to reprioritise projects such as the holiday highway north of Puhoi, we need to back off some of the tax cuts to wealthy Kiwis who didn’t need them in the first place, and we need a real plan for growing the economy and jobs.

“The Government has had no such plan for the past two-and-a-half years and is no closer to developing one now,” David Cunliffe said.

“Sadly, the New Zealand economy is going nowhere other than backward under this Government. The economy was significantly weaker than expected just two months ago --- before the earthquake. Two-thirds of the expected $15 billion loss of production over the next four years is due to the Government's mismanagement of the economy:

“John Key promised us most Kiwis would be better off under National. What he should have said is that wealthy Kiwis will be better off, because low and middle-income Kiwis are struggling.

“The real irony about National’s mismanagement of the New Zealand economy is that we would be in even worse shape if it wasn’t for the strong financial gains from the Super Fund and ACC, the very institutions that National still apparently believes it is smart to cripple,” David Cunliffe said.

ends

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