National leader Chris Luxon has appointed Simon Bridges as spokesman for Finance and Infrastructure.
. . . “Simon has prodigious skills, incredible talent and the intellectual heft needed to excel as National’s Finance spokesperson,” Mr Luxon says.
“He is ideally suited to prosecute the wasteful spending decisions, spiralling debt and rising costs of living occurring under the Labour Government.
“New Zealand needs a strong economy so we can invest in better core services like healthcare, education and police.
“Growing our economy and raising productivity are the biggest things we can do to improve the lives of all New Zealanders.
“For the last 30 years, our economy has been suffering from a productivity disease.
“Lifting productivity means raising people’s incomes, which in turn gives New Zealanders more choices and better lifestyles.
“It’s important that our economy is sustainable, and that means ensuring that we spend effectively and with discipline.
“Investing in hospitals and roads is important – blowing cash on nice-to-haves is quite another thing.
“As an example, this Labour Government borrowed $57 billion for the COVID-19 Response fund, yet has managed to end up with fewer ICU beds 18 months into the pandemic than at the start.
“High inflation is like a thief in your pocket, making it harder to live. That’s why public spending must be brought under control – otherwise we will keep seeing costs rising faster than wages.
“It’s also critical that we reset New Zealand’s approach to infrastructure and take a genuine long-term, intergenerational view. We need an overarching vision for New Zealand’s infrastructure and new funding and financing mechanisms that can drive us into the coming decades.
“Simon will play a central and critical role in our leadership team, and he and I will work closely together.
“Simon will be an exceptional Finance and Infrastructure Minister in the next National Government come 2023.”
This is good use of Simon’s undoubted skills and also good politics.
Comparisons with John Key who gave Finance to Bill English are inevitable and that’s positive, given how successful that partnership was.