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Mini-Budget Begs Too Many Questions

The mini-Budget released by the Coalition Government today leaves many questions unanswered, said CTU Economist Craig Renney. “Despite calling for clarity on existing spending, the mini-Budget today does not provide any analysis of the tax cut or spending programme of the incoming Government.

The mini-Budget released by the Coalition Government today leaves many questions unanswered, said CTU Economist Craig Renney. “Despite calling for clarity on existing spending, the mini-Budget today does not provide any analysis of the tax cut or spending programme of the incoming Government.

“It doesn’t provide any analysis of the spending cuts being required of government departments, nor how they are to be achieved. It doesn’t provide a fiscal strategy. In short, New Zealanders will have to wait to understand what is being changed.

“The government is claiming that it is cutting $1.5bn of spending per year. Of that, $0.5bn is commitments made by the previous government. $0.4bn is cuts which have already been committed to changing Early Childcare support. So only $0.6bn is new. $1bn of immediate cuts is money that comes from cuts to the transport budget – which is paid for by fuel taxes.

“The Government has claimed that it is delivering fiscal responsibility but has taken money from climate change to deliver tax cuts for landlords and it’s taking $676m from welfare payments.

“It’s unclear how that will make delivering on the child poverty targets easier or make the cost of living easier for low income families.

“The announcements today leave much still to be explained. There appears to still be a debate within government about when key planks of the tax cut package will be delivered. Yet there is nothing in this package to help with the cost of living. New Zealanders have to wait until May next year to find out what the plan is. The Government should be making this clear today.”

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