Today’s half year economic and fiscal update is a damning indictment on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s economic management as she puts New Zealand back in the red, National’s Finance Spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.
“This Government inherited massive surpluses as far as the eye could see, and has blown them in two years.
“Treasury has slashed its economic growth forecasts which means fewer opportunities for Kiwis to get ahead, less money to go around and more debt. The Government has turned the strong growth and huge surpluses it inherited into deficits, weak growth and more debt with nothing to show for it.
“The Government is pulling the economy down with one hand through added costs, uncertainty and incompetence, and trying to pull it up with other through more debt. It’s confused, incoherent and chaotic.
“It has also broken its promise to New Zealanders to reduce debt below 20 per cent of GDP by 2022. This promise was only made because Labour knew New Zealanders didn’t trust them to spend wisely.
“That lack of trust has been fully justified.
“The Government would not need to break their debt promise by almost $5 billion if they had not wasted billions of taxpayer money on failed experimental policies like KiwiBuild, Fees Free or the Provincial Growth Fund.
“After spending its first two years deliberately stopping planned transport infrastructure, it’s a relief the Government has finally woken up to the need to get on with things. We, however, have little confidence it will deliver anything next year either.
“A National Government would restore confidence and revive our economy by getting on with infrastructure, by making it easier for businesses, large and small, to get on with it and by being disciplined and effective in Government.”