Parliament

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

 

Labour Raiding Rainy Day Covid Fund

Half of the $10 billion Finance Minister Grant Robertson set aside in the case of a further Covid-19 resurgence has been spent funding Labour’s non-Covid-related ideas, National’s Shadow Treasurer Andrew Bayly says.

The Government allocated a total of $62 billion to support the Covid ‘response and recovery’. But a substantial amount of that has been spend on non-Covid-related projects. Earlier this year the Government said it was setting $10 billion aside for a resurgence but following the recent budget, only $5.1 billion is now left.

“The Covid Response and Recovery Fund is supposed to help New Zealand deal with any future Covid-19 outbreaks,” Mr Bayly says.

“But Gant Robertson has denied this, even though Treasury’s website still outlines how the remaining $5.1 billion of the Covid Response and Recovery Fund had been set aside for ‘any future health and economic response needed in the case of a further Covid-19 resurgence’.

“Grant Robertson has also contradicted his own Budget documents. While he says he doesn’t expect to exhaust the rest of the Fund, the Budget says the opposite, assuming ‘the remaining unallocated portion of the Covid fund will be spent by the end of the forecast period’, and at a rate of $1.1 billion each year.

“The Minister has argued he doesn’t expect to exhaust the fund because the Government’s vaccine rollout will render lockdowns unnecessary. This is worrying given New Zealand’s vaccine rollout is one of the slowest in the OECD with the vast majority of our population still unvaccinated.

“If Wellington’s latest Covid scare had resulted in another major lockdown, $5 billion wouldn’t go very far in supporting businesses and New Zealanders through.

“Grant Robertson has said Covid-19 has not yet gone away, so why is he acting as if it has?

“Instead, Grant Robertson has spent the Covid Fund on a play about New Zealand’s response to Covid-19; a ‘modern approach to night classes’; water safety; funding for the Olympics; and the Government’s housing acceleration package.

“This is irresponsible. The Covid Response and Recovery Fund was effectively an insurance against the worst effects of Covid-19. But Labour has spent half of it on unrelated projects.

“If we do have a resurgence of Covid-19 in New Zealand, Grant Robertson will need to create an even larger debt burden for our recovery, debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay back.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Uncanny Valley Of Tokyo 2020

For all involved, this year’s Olympic Games have called for a willing suspension of anxiety. For now at least, the displays of skill and agility have been compelling enough to muffle some of the previous misgivings about the wisdom of asking athletes from all corners of the world to converge in one place in the middle of a pandemic, and at the height of a Tokyo summer... More>>



ALSO:


 
 


Child Poverty Action Group: Poverty Burden For Children Increased Due To Government Neglect - New Report

Poverty, inequity, homelessness and food insecurity are among the burdens which increased for tamariki Māori and other children in the first year of Covid-19 - partially due to Government neglect... More>>

Government: Cabinet Accepts Turkish Authorities’ Request For The Managed Return Of Three NZ Citizens

Cabinet has agreed to the managed return of a New Zealand citizen and her two young children from Turkey, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The three have been in immigration detention in Turkey since crossing the border from Syria earlier this year... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Quarantine Free Travel With Australia Suspended

Quarantine Free Travel from all Australian states and territories to New Zealand is being suspended as the Covid situation there worsens, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today... More>>

ALSO:


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>>



Social Development: Government Initiatives Contribute To Fall In Benefit Numbers

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the release of the June quarter Benefit Statistics which show a continuing fall in the number of people receiving a Main Benefit... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels