Far greater transparency is needed from the Government on the economic consequences of the Covid-19 lockdown, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.
“It was clear from today’s Epidemic Response Committee that Ministers have had access to economic modelling and other important data behind the response to Covid-19, but they aren’t being forthcoming in releasing it.
“We all know the impact on jobs will be severe and the economy will be significantly weaker because of the lockdown. It is critical that we have access to the latest estimates on job losses under different scenarios – such as an extended lock down – so that New Zealanders have a sense of what’s to come.
“To date, the Government has been proactively releasing information on health forecasting and modelling. It should be doing the same with information about the economic consequences we’re facing.
“It is hugely important for the Government to be transparent with both businesses and the public about the economic consequences of their decisions, rather than just issuing broad statements.
“Employers and their banks need this information so they have more certainty about the economic outlook and can better prepare for a way out of the Covid-19 lockdown.
“Today the Minister of Finance committed to releasing the assumptions and economic forecasts behind the economic response package we asked him for on day one, as well as any other relevant information as it becomes available.
“The Epidemic Response Committee will hold him to that.”