Govt finances foreshadow Budget disappointment

Today’s release of the Government’s financial position shows that the National Government is likely to present a Budget next week that disappoints New Zealanders and fails to present any vision for the New Zealand economy, the Green Party said.

“With yet another Budget deficit on the way next week, it’s clear that John Key and Bill English are not the responsible and prudent fiscal managers that they’ve pretended to be,” Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said.

“National had the opportunity to make the most of the economic recovery and get back into surplus, but instead they chose to cut taxes for the richest New Zealanders.

“The Government’s failure to get its books back in the black, while the economy’s been growing, will bite in the next few years as the effects of lower dairy prices, low inflation, and the levelling off of the Canterbury rebuild are felt.

“It is the Government’s most important job to ensure that the economy benefits all New Zealanders, not just a few. National has failed to do this.

“National’s decision to cut taxes for the wealthy will leave it with few options other than to increase debt and cut spending wherever possible in next week’s Budget. The Green Party will be holding the Government to account and making sure that any cuts to essential services like health and education don’t go unnoticed.

“The National Government is out of touch with New Zealand families, whose wages are flat-lining while their housing costs rise at record levels because of the Government’s failure to take action on the Auckland housing crisis.

“National has built an economy that doesn’t meet the basic needs of a quarter of New Zealand children, who are living in poverty.

“The Green Party has a plan to build a fairer, smarter, and cleaner economy where wealth is shared fairly. We need a diversified economy that creates value from a balanced range of products and services.

“The Green Party’s costed fiscal plan would pay down debt and achieve surplus faster than the National Government, while kick-starting the transformation to an innovative, high-wage economy,” said Dr Norman.

Government Financial statements for the nine months to 31 March 2015 show an OBEGAL deficit of $358 million, larger than the $269 million deficit forecast a month ago, and net debt of $63 billion.