More cracks are appearing in the National Government’s façade of economic management, with the Crown accounts back in deficit and international ratings agency Fitch downgrading its predictions for New Zealand’s economy, the Green Party said.
“Eight years into National's reign, the Government has slipped back into deficit while net Crown debt continues to grow, because National hasn’t found a stable way to fund its spending choices,” Green Party finance spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said.
“The root of National’s economic problems is the irresponsible tax cuts they gave the wealthiest people back when they first got into government, and the failure to implement a capital gains tax.
“The Treasury warned National a year ago that the asset sales hadn’t raised enough money to pay for all the spending on things that National was promising.
“The myth of National being a party of good economic management is being busted. National simply haven’t proved themselves to be responsible managers of the economy.
“By selling off shares in our power companies, National waved goodbye to $775 million of dividend revenue that it could have used to invest in things like public transport, affordable housing, or fixing child poverty.
“The single-minded focus on dairy expansion to pay our way in the world has made things worse, leaving New Zealand vulnerable to international commodity prices at the same time as racking up future clean-up costs by polluting our waterways and climate.
“The Government should be investing in the simple but effective things that will pay off for New Zealand, like insulating our homes and feeding hungry kids at school,” said Ms Genter.