“Grant Robertson’s reported meeting where bureaucrats were asked to save 10 per cent of their spending just 73 days from an election was the second of two, and the fiscal hole is closer to $30 billion”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“ACT is aware of two meetings. Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes called departmental chief executives into a meeting last Wednesday to demand a 10 per cent reduction in spending.
“There was another meeting today that included Finance Minister Grant Robertson, and the politics are getting ugly. The demand for savings is causing major ructions within the Government with Housing Minister Megan Woods refusing to give up any money for her portfolios.
“A $30 billion dollar hole sounds big, but not when you look how quickly the Government’s books are deteriorating. The Government took $2.329 billion less revenue in the 11 months to May than Treasury had forecast as recently as the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update, which was released on May 18.
“In effect, revenue in May was down $2.329 billion on expectations. If every month was like May, the Government would be nearly $27 billion worse off for the year.
“Labour is in a sad and desperate state, attempting to make these savings just weeks before an election, but it also shows how much work the next Government will have to do to repair the books.
“There’s no shortage of wasteful spending to cut. ACT’s alternative budget shows how to cut $38 billion in four years by cutting wasteful spending such as:

  • Getting rid of corporate welfare like international film subsidies and the PGF.
  • Scrapping failed policies like Fees-Free.
  • Reducing bureaucracy in overstaffed and under-producing ministries, like MOE which has increased in size by 55.3 per cent since 2017.
  • Abolishing demographic ministries that just replicate work already done in policy ministries.
  • Scrapping expensive policies and organisations that don’t practically lower emissions like the Clean Car Discount and the Climate Change Commission.

“Labour has increased government spending by $56 billion over six budgets and some of the spending is so damaging it must be stopped on day one of the next Government.
“New Zealanders busy trying to balance their household budgets will be astonished to hear about the insane projects that have grown up like mushrooms under Labour.
“On 14 October, New Zealanders need to evict this desperate and incompetent Government so we can have real change.”

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