“Labour’s PREFU relies on reducing Pharmac’s funding to make its numbers stack up. It also gladly accepts revenue from the new Deposit Takers Insurance Scheme, while failing to budget for any potential payouts. It fails to specifically fund RMA reform implementation at all, and fails to continue funding for MSD’s Te Pai Tawhiti programme from 2024, which MSD’s own website says will take 9 years.

“Our estimates suggest that just these policies add up to a $404 million hole by 2026.

“The PREFU is a game of smoke and mirrors by the Government. It ignores numerous cost commitments, and will rely on either raiding the operating allowance, scrapping the programmes or borrowing even more to balance the books after the election.

“PREFU also fails to budget for Labour’s shambolic announcement of high-needs youth justice facilities. ACT’s promise of similar facilities was fully costed.

“PREFU shows why an ACT Government is more necessary than ever before. Labour hides expenses to pretend its books are in order, while ACT offers Kiwis genuine reductions in wasteful Government spending.

“Chris Hipkins has spat fire at ACT for wanting to cut school lunches and the Screen Production Grant. He should have told Grant Robertson, because the PREFU does the same thing. Is Labour finally listening to ACT’s recommendations of what the Government needs to cut to get the books in order, or are they being dishonest with New Zealanders? Labour should front up – they can’t have their cake and eat it too.”

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