Govt books give scope to address National’s long-term deficits

The Government’s improving books give it scope to address the long-term deficits National has been running in health, housing, and the environment, the Green Party said today.

The Treasury’s Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update, out today, forecasts the Crown’s fiscal position to steadily improve so that by June 2021, surpluses are expected to rise to $8.5 billion and net debt to reduce to 19 percent of GDP.

“Treasury has signalled that the Government has scope to address the long-term deficits it has been racking up in health, housing, and the environment,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“National has cut core Government services like health, housing, police and conservation funding to the bone.

“The quality of these essential public services is suffering and its past time to restore and enhance them.

“Payments to the Superannuation Fund need to be restored earlier than 2020. National will leave behind an even larger long-term superannuation funding shortfall without moving swiftly to restore the Fund.

“The Government will also need to begin to meet the adaptation costs of climate change. These are essentially infrastructure investments to make our water and transport infrastructure, for example, more resilient to climate change.

“Finally, the Government will need to pay down record levels of debt to ensure our economy can withstand another shock like the Global Financial Crisis.

“The Greens in Government will address the long-term deficits National has run up while reducing debt and resuming payments to the Superannuation Fund sooner,” said Mr Shaw.

 

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