The government has posted a $7.5 billion surplus:
The Government has unveiled a bumper $7.5 billion surplus and the lowest debt levels in almost a decade, the latest Crown accounts reveal.
That level of Government surplus has not been seen since at least 2008, just before New Zealand felt the full effect of the global financial crisis. . .
It’s taking all that money yet failing to deliver on its promises.
Surpluses are good, but $7.5 billion looks like too much of a good thing.
The government is either taking too much, spending too little, or both.
National’s Economic Development spokesman Todd McLay says:
“The Government should be looking to stimulate the economy by letting New Zealanders keep more of what they earn.
“Instead, it has piled on more and more taxes to the point where Grant Robertson is sitting on a big surplus while those living outside Wellington’s beltway struggle with rising living costs.
“One of the reasons debt is lower than forecast is because the Government is failing to invest in the infrastructure New Zealand needs.
“It has cancelled or delayed a dozen major new roading projects right across the country and replaced them with projects that weren’t ready, and won’t be ready for some time yet.
This isn’t just taking more tax and doing less with it. Stalling new roading work risks a loss of skilled people who will head overseas if there’s a gap between current projects finishing and new ones starting.
“Meanwhile, the Government has been piling on taxes. It has legislated to milk an extra $1.7 billion from motorists through fuel tax hikes and extra GST, while its misguided housing policies have pushed up rents and burdened landlords with extra costs and regulation.
“National legislated for tax relief that would have put more than $1000 a year extra into the back pockets of New Zealanders. This Government cancelled that.
“We will index tax thresholds to inflation so that New Zealanders aren’t taxed more by stealth every year because of the rising cost of living.”
Sound economic management requires much more than creating surpluses.
The government must take enough, but not too much, and it must scrutinise all its decisions to ensure its spending effectively and prudently.
The large surplus suggests the government could be investing more in infrastructure and filling some of the gaping holes in the health system.
It also shows it is taking far more than it needs and it could be leaving us all with a little more of our own money by way of tax cuts.