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National In Fiscal Freefall

More spending promises by National today would make even the Fyre Festival organisers blush, Labour MP Chris Hipkins said.

“Following a series of well-publicised fiscal blunders by Finance Spokesperson Paul Goldsmith, National keeps doubling down on its magical thinking with yet more promises its austerity plan will never be able to pay for,” Chris Hipkins said.

“National has thrown any claim to financial credibility to the wind. Its announcements today are beyond embarrassing. It’s like they don’t care anymore.

“Today’s announcements come with price tags of $116 million* for mental health and $225 million for skills and retaining. National needs to explain where in its fiscal plan the money for these is coming from, given that on their own, these two policies cost way in excess of the $200 million it has set aside for all its unannounced announcements since releasing its plan.

“National also needs to come clean on what services it’s going to cut when it raids Budget 19’s $1.9 billion costed plan for mental health. How can National ‘Seek to maintain these initiatives’ when the funding is going to be used elsewhere?

“Questions also need to be asked on their capital allowances. National has promised to build a hospital in Nelson without saying how much money it could cost from its already grossly underfunded health capital programme.

“It’s hopeful over-promising on an epic scale, much like the planned Fyre Festival in the West Indies, which billed itself as the best music festival the world had ever seen, but ended up delivering a ‘squalid collection of soggy tents on an abandoned building site’.”

*Excludes $63 million for meth plan which was previously announced and is in National’s fiscal plan

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