John Key is again dangling tax cuts in front of voters, but such cuts will come at the cost of cuts to health, education and environmental protection, the Green Party said today.
"Independent analysis of the Government's books, commissioned by the Green Party, revealed National is already planning to cut $3.8 billion over the next three years in real spending in health, education and environmental protection," Green Partly Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said.
"It is these real cuts in health, education and the environment that underpin the annual $1.5 billion operating allowance for new spending that National has built into the Budget.
"Now it would seem that National plans to spend the operating allowance on tax cuts.
"Hence, any tax cut promises by National are funded by the real cuts in health, education and environmental protection that created the operating allowance.
"We have already had one round of irresponsible tax cuts from National in 2010 when New Zealand was still in the grip of the worst recession since the Great Depression shortly after which National reported a budget deficit of $18.4 billion - far and away the largest in the country's history.
"Net Government debt was $12.8 billion when National came to office in 2008 and that debt is forecast to swell to $67.9 billion by June 30, 2018. That's an extra $11,375 for every New Zealander.
"Where is the money to enact these new tax cuts Mr Key? Show us the money.
"Independent economic consultants BERL, commissioned by the Green Party to analyse, National's budget found that a high proportion of the $1.5 billion annual operation allowance for new spending initiatives identified for the next three years will be consumed to just maintain core Government spending in health, education and the environment at current levels, let along any improvements," Dr Norman said.
The Green Party last week released its full fiscal costings for their 2014 election priorities, independently verified by economic consultancy Infometrics. These showed the Green Party will deliver larger surpluses and pay down debt sooner than National.
"We have produced a fiscally responsible plan that will build a smarter greener economy that really works for all New Zealanders," Dr Norman said.
The surpluses will be $2.2 billion larger than National by 2017/18 and gross Government debt will be $6.6 billion dollars lower than National by 2017/18 (even before any tax cuts).
"We have shown how we can pay for our spending. Now it's time for National to do the same."