Government deficit highlights policy failures

Government financial statements released today are further evidence that National is failing to manage the economy responsibly for long term stability, the Green Party said.

The financial statements for six months to 31 December 2015 showed a deficit of $889 million, $92 million higher than forecast. Core Crown debt grew to $66.9 billion, $1.1 billion higher than forecast.

“The latest statements show the National Government is struggling to get its books in order in the short term and in the long term, it’s moving the high cost problems like climate change, superannuation, and housing onto future governments to deal with,” Green Party finance spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said.

"National's tax cuts for high income earners, asset sales, and failure to implement a capital gains tax as the Treasury recommended, are all contributing to lower Crown revenue and higher levels of debt.

“National could reign in high cost, low value projects like motorways, and be smarter about infrastructure spending that will lock-in long term benefits.

“A capital gains tax (excluding the family home) would help broaden the tax base and stabilise the government accounts. It's not just a fairer way to raise revenue, it can also help diversify our economy.

"A more diversified economy, with less focus on dairy would be more resilient, leading to more stable government finances.

“Achieving a surplus shouldn’t be the Government’s only goal because it’s also important to invest in economic diversification, jobs, and long term stability – but given National promised surpluses it’s significant that they’re not achieving them,” Ms Genter said.

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