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Grant Robertson’s Fantasy Fiscal Plan

Grant Robertson’s so-called fiscal plan sets the stage for more wasteful spending, more tax and more debt under Labour, National’s Finance spokesperson Nicola Willis says.

“Labour’s promises of spending restraint can’t be taken seriously - they belong in the fantasy file alongside their promise to build 100,000 KiwiBuild homes.

“Labour has never stuck to its own spending commitments and they are not about to start now.

“The fiscal plan Grant Robertson released today requires Labour to stick to far smaller Budget ‘operating allowances’ than it has stuck to for the last six years. Even while going into a big-spending coalition with the Greens and Te Pāti Māori. They also have to find the cash to deliver on their extravagant promises for Auckland Light Rail ($30 billion) and the Lake Onslow Electricity Project. ($15 billion).

“It doesn’t add up. It’s just not credible for Labour to claim that it is suddenly going to show newfound levels of restraint. New Zealanders should instead judge Labour by its track record.

“Grant Robertson has failed to stay within his spending limits for every single Budget since he has been in office. The ‘operating allowances’ he committed to in his 2017 and 2020 fiscal plans were blown apart by extra spending, and every Budget since has been the same.

“He can’t just blame COVID and cyclones – Grant Robertson’s habit of blowing the spending commitments he campaigns on started from his very first Budget and has continued since. Labour is spending $31 billion more this year than it did in 2020, during Covid.

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“Labour has wasted precious taxpayer dollars on failed projects like Auckland Light Rail, consultants and contractors, the pretend Auckland Bike Bridge and Let’s Get Wellington Moving. They spent half a billion dollars on expired covid tests, $20 million on the failed RNZ/TVNZ merger and $40,000 on a farewell for the head of a government department.

“Labour’s pattern of excessive spending has blown-out Government debt from $5 billion in 2019 to over $100 billion.

“This is a Labour Government that is spending $1 billion more each week than in 2017 – but is not getting better results for New Zealanders.

“Kiwis are in a cost-of-living crisis, crime is out of control, our health system is in crisis and our children are going backwards at school.

“New Zealanders needs a National government that will rebuild the economy and get it working for them.

“National will present a credible fiscal plan on Friday that builds on our track-record of managing the books wisely and getting more value out of every dollar we spend. National will restore discipline to government spending while protecting frontline services.

“It is part of our plan to build a stronger New Zealand economy. A stronger economy will deliver less inflation, higher incomes, and lower mortgage costs. It’s how New Zealand can afford to invest in the public services that matter – like health, education and law and order.

“New Zealand cannot afford another three years of Labour’s excessive tax, spending and debt.”

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