“The Prime Minister appeared to confirm in Question Time today that the Government will spend around $260,000 to save each job as part of the Covid-19 recovery,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“That would be a massively inefficient use of taxpayer money.

The Treasury has estimated that, if the Government spends the full $50 billion Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund, it would save about 30,000 jobs a year compared to Treasury’s baseline forecast.

“In other words, the Government plans to spend nearly $260,000 for each job saved.

“This shows the kind of economic recovery we will get if the current Government runs it.

“Its plan is to take on $124 billion more debt, run the economic recovery from inside the Beehive, throw money at every perceived problem, and tax New Zealanders harder to pay for it.

“It will take generations to pay off the debt.

“ACT agrees that the Government will need to borrow and spend more than it otherwise would have, but there is a much different alternative available.

Our Alternative Budget would get New Zealand back to surplus by 2023 while cutting taxes by $19 billion, and would take on $50 billion less debt. We would roll out an ambitious pro-growth agenda in housing, infrastructure, primary industries, employment relations and overseas investment.

“Instead of borrowing and spending many billions of dollars, the Government could instead harness the energy of workers and businesses with lower taxes and less red tape.

“We can have a job-rich economic boom in the wake of Covid-19 for the benefit of the next generation.

“Government creates the environment for growth, but firms, investors and innovators must drive our response through a bottom-up recovery. New Zealand needs an economic recovery led by business, not the Beehive.”