Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Government should practice the transparency it preached

“The Government should practice some of its long-promised openness and transparency by letting the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee scrutinise Treasury and the Reserve Bank’s house price forecasts,” says ACT Associate Finance Spokesperson Damien Smith.

“The Government relies on Treasury’s forecasts when it brings down a budget. Parliament’s job is to scrutinise the Government’s actions, but Labour MPs on the Finance and Expenditure Committee have stopped the Committee from testing treasury’s forecasts.  Not only refused to do their job but are actually stopping the other five MPs doing theirs.

“Treasury’s forecast for house prices, that house price growth will all but flatline for a year from spring, is heroic. It is out of sync with every other trend, current and historical, in New Zealand housing, it deserves scrutiny.

“This Government has routinely suppressed Select Committees, refusing to bring back the Epidemic Response Committee, and suppressing scrutiny of its COVID response on the Health Committee that was supposed to be a substitute for it.

“David Seymour’s Constitution (Enabling a 4-Year Term) Amendment Bill would make sure opposition MPs had a majority on select Committees, making select Committees independent for real scrutiny.”