29 fiscal time-bombs waiting to blow

Press Release – New Zealand National Party

29 fiscal time-bombs waiting to blow

The coalition Government has 29 new fiscal time-bombs waiting to go off according to the half-yearly economic and fiscal update, National Party Finance Spokesperson Steven Joyce says.

“Treasury has identified an unprecedented number of new fiscal risks that are caused by the arrival of the new Government,” Mr Joyce says.

“These cover a huge range of election commitments that are yet to be included in the Government accounts.

“Major policies like the Provincial Growth Fund, extra DOC funding, their justice policies, their primary health care policy, new rail links in Auckland and Wellington, and the effect on government of increasing the minimum wage, are all not included in the accounts in this update.

“Bearing in mind that the threshold for Treasury to note a specific risk is $100 million, across the 29 new risks that’s billions of extra spending that isn’t quantified so far.

“The Government’s allowances for new spending are already very tight because of their pre-election health and education commitments, and their distaste for PPPs to fund infrastructure.

“They haven’t even included an estimate for the America’s Cup – despite the urgency of that decision.

“The new Government may have convinced themselves they will be fiscally responsible but they clearly haven’t yet convinced the Treasury.

“Despite assurances that the coalition Government’s policy programme would be fully costed and released before Christmas, the HYEFU only contained policy items in the 100 day plan. It’s clear that the public has only been given a small taste of the new Government’s spending appetite in the half-year update.

“As Grant Robertson has become fond of saying, this update is truly just a starting point.”

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