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


Robertson tops up Covid slush fund with borrowed money

Grant Robertson’s $7 billion top-up of the misused Covid Response and Recovery Fund gives him carte-blanche to splash more borrowed money between Budgets, says National’s Finance spokesperson Michael Woodhouse.


“The Finance Minister has referenced the positive economic performance figures for the June quarter, before the Delta outbreak, to justify another year of massive between-Budget spending.


“We know that the so-called Covid Response and Recovery Fund is being used for much more than the Covid response and is a slush fund for spending on things that have nothing to do with Covid.


“The additional $7 billion the Minister is putting into the fund rivals what would normally be two Budgets’ worth of new operating spending. That’s the order of spending that we are talking about. This is not small fry.


“By spending more and more under the authority of Imprest Supply and leaving it to be picked up in the Supplementary Estimates next year, Robertson is bypassing the normal Budget Estimates of Appropriations process that governs government spending.


“The wage subsidy and resurgence support schemes are vital, but $12 billion of the Covid fund has been frittered away on projects with little or no connection to our recovery from Covid, such as the $710 million spent on the Three Waters policy, which itself is looking increasingly dead in the water.


“The Minister cites the greater fiscal headroom available to the Government due to lower deficits and lower debt than forecast, as well as positive GDP growth.


“But, rather than doing what a responsible government would do and bank those gains as a buffer against further shocks, the Government would rather leave more debt for younger generations to repay than is necessary.


“The Government views the recovery fund as a refillable pot of money to keep on spending, oblivious to the fact this is borrowed money that generations of taxpayers will have to repay.


“The Covid fund is needed for the Covid response, and we could have a long way to go yet; freely spending from it shouldn’t be dictated by short-term, backward-looking economic indicators.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why New Zealand Needs To Change Its Defence Habits

In a flashback to the military displays of days gone by, one of our frigates recently joined a Carrier Strike show of force in the South China Sea, en route to a joint military exercise in Singapore with our traditional allies, called BersamaGold21. Reportedly, Anna Powles, from the Centre of Defence and Security Studies at Massey University felt this to be a case of us doing our bit to uphold international law, and the right of free transit through the region in question... More>>

Government: New COVID-19 Protection Framework Delivers Greater Freedoms For Vaccinated New Zealanders

Vaccinated New Zealanders will regain everyday freedoms when the country moves to a new simplified COVID-19 Protection Framework that doesn’t rely on nationwide lockdowns as the main measure to stop the virus spreading. In a suite of announcements that establish a pathway out of restrictions the Government is also providing up to $940 million per fortnight to support businesses through the challenging period... More>>



Government: Responds To Independent Review Into WorkSafe

The Government has clear expectations that WorkSafe must action the recommendations of the independent review into the regulator to improve its management of adventure activities following the tragedy at Whakaari White Island, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood says... More>>

Government: New Zealand Secures Historic Free Trade Deal With The United Kingdom
New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed in principle the details of a historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will further accelerate our COVID-19 economic recovery say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor... More>>


Ombudsman: Launches Investigation Into MIQ Booking System
The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is launching a broad investigation into the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) booking system after receiving hundreds of complaints... More>>


Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>

Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>




InfoPages News Channels