Labour and the Green Party are trying to pretend they would be good economic managers.
David Cunliffe and Labour have actually increased their new spending promises for the next four years to $18.4 billion, despite putting some of their proposals such as New Zealand Power on the never-never, National Party Finance Spokesman Bill English says.
“David Cunliffe and David Parker have again been caught out under-costing their expensive promises,” Mr English says. “This is irresponsible and deceptive and confirms that under David Cunliffe, Labour is reverting to its failed spend and tax recipe of the past.
“We saw what happened the last time around – under Labour in 2008, floating mortgage rates reached almost 11 per cent, inflation exceeded 5 per cent and the economy went into recession well before the global financial crisis.”
Labour’s latest costings attempt, which it released on Monday, confirm its untried New Zealand Power proposal, which would give politicians control of the electricity industry and push up power prices, would be postponed until 1 January 2018.
And in another example of it attempting to dress up its numbers, Labour has also pushed back free GP visits for over 65s and other groups to 1 January 2017.
“So while David Cunliffe is going around New Zealand making expensive promises, he is quietly pushing some of them back beyond two elections because he knows they are unaffordable,” Mr English says.
“But he has again failed to hide Labour’s real spending agenda because he has not added in promises made over the last two weeks.
“Even using Labour’s own numbers, the cost of its promises over the next four years is now $17.3 billion – up from its claimed $16.4 billion when it first attempted to cost its policies.
“But when the real costs of its proposed R&D tax credit, compulsory KiwiSaver and New Zealand Power are included, the tally jumps to $18.4 billion – up from around $18 billion the last time around.
“As Labour’s numbers come under scrutiny, they keep changing them,” Mr English says. “David Cunliffe has tried to say he would spend less, but when you add it all up he is actually spending more.”
Labour Party Election 2014 Spending Announcements – as at 27 August 2014
Four year costings as per Labour documents unless noted
|27-Jan-14||Best Start Policy||614|
|27-Jan-14||Extended Paid Parental Leave||245|
|27-Jan-14||Early Childhood Education Announcements||352|
|14-Apr-14||Bowel Screening Programme||56|
|23-Apr-14||Veterans Pension Extension||37|
|25-Jun-14||R & D Tax Credit*||1,079|
|25-Jun-14||KiwiBuild Finance Costs||176|
|2-Jul-14||School Donation Policy||175|
|3-Jul-14||Family & Sexual Violence Policies||60|
|5-Jul-14||Digital Devices in Schools||120|
|5-Jul-14||Food in Schools||70|
|22-Jul-14||Regional Investment Fund||200|
|24-Jul-14||Digital and Connectivity Policy||21|
|30-Jul-14||Living wage for Public Sector||94|
|31-Jul-14||Centres of Vocational Excellence||40|
|4-Aug-14||Youth Employment Package||182|
|10-Aug-14||Free Doctors’ Visits||540|
|18-Aug-14||Tertiary Education (incl ACE)||130|
|24-Aug-14||Immediate Funding of City Rail Link****||800|
|25-Aug-14||Other Education Initiatives||45|
|25-Aug-14||Other Smaller Initiatives||80|
|25-Aug-14||Maintain Real Value of Spending in Public Services||9,000|
|25-Aug-14||Policy Soon to be Announced||289|
|Total Announced Spending Pledges||18,394|
*Adjusted to reflect Treasury’s forecast costs of the previous R & D Tax credit
**Adjusted to include the average Kiwisaver tax credit paid to new Kiwisaver members
***Adjusted to remove the claimed fiscal offset for wider benefits in one part of the economy that ignores wider costs elsewhere
****Labour says it would reprioritise existing transport spend but most of first 4 yrs committed/contracted
Note: some costs differ from the original Labour releases as a result of fiscal tables released 25 August.
This is only the cost of its spending.
It doesn’t take into account the cost of poor economic management, higher and extra taxes, higher interest rates, a greater burden of government and all the other hand brakes a Labour/Green?New Zealand First.Internet Mana government would impose on the country.
Higher spending and higher taxes didn’t work for New Zealand under the last Labour-led government and it won’t work if voters are conned into trusting another one.
Hopefully voters have learned what works for New Zealand and New Zealanders because Labour and its mismatched mates haven’t.