Greens' BRR review signals more debt

Thu, 14 Feb, 2019

The Green Party’s review of its commitment to so-called Budget Responsibility Rules is a sign the Government will soon start to backtrack on its promise to keep debt under control, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Promising to reduce net core Crown debt to 20 per cent of GDP was an easy commitment to make for a Government flush with cash.

“In December 2017, the new Government was forecasting a surplus of $6.5 billion by 2021.

“But times are changing. NZ First and the Greens are hungry for a slice of taxpayer money. Dozens of working groups will soon report back with expensive proposals. And the economy is slowing in response to poor economic policies, meaning tax revenue will start to dwindle. 

“Here’s how it will play out. The Greens will propose a radical shift in fiscal policy. Then, with a slowing economy and a shrinking surplus, Labour, appearing as the more moderate government party, will outline a modest loosening of the purse strings, but one that will still mean more debt and, eventually, higher taxes to pay for it.

“It’s completely irresponsible for Labour and the Greens to even consider loading up future generations with more debt given the Government’s current fiscal position.

“A responsible government would cut its coat according to its cloth and reduce wasteful spending like Fees Free, the Provincial Growth Fund, subsidies for Hollywood filmmakers, and Winter Energy Payments.”