Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce sums up Labour’s announcement it’s dropping some yet unannounced policies:
Finance Minister Bill English isn’t convinced either:
It’s too late for Labour to try to look responsible with taxpayers’ money when it has publicly committed to four years of new spending with almost a month to run before the election, National Party Finance Spokesman Bill English says.
“Labour is desperately trying to make its big spending commitments look smaller, and has decided to not even put costings on its big spending tertiary and transport commitments.
“Neither David Cunliffe nor David Parker could this morning actually list which of their expensive spending promises would be delayed in what was a failed attempt to appear fiscally prudent.
“Labour would return to their high spending ways, with at least an $18 billion list of new spending commitments,” Mr English says.
“That’s before you add the Greens’ promises to spend an additional $10 billion over the next four years. Then then there’s the wish list of support partner the Dotcom party, which wants to spend billions more on free tertiary education and community make-work schemes.
“Whatever Labour presents now would be up for negotiation in coalition talks where the Greens would have considerable sway – not to mention concessions demanded by Dotcom.
“On top of that, the Greens and Labour are arguing over their numbers. The Greens say they want Labour’s numbers independently audited – and for good reason. And as we saw from the weekend, they can’t even agree fairly basic stuff like where the two of them think the top personal tax rate should be.
“The last time we saw this sort of approach, New Zealand taxpayers and families were the losers, with high deficits, a stalling economy and mortgage interest rates at nearly 11 per cent. New Zealand simply can’t afford the Labour/Greens/Dotcom coalition,” Mr English says.
High tax, high spending policies under the last Labour-led government put the country into recession before the rest of the world and left us with a forecast for a decade of deficits.
If they couldn’t manage the books responsibly in good times, they’ll have no show of exercising the restraint needed to ensure we keep on the road to recovery from bad times.