Thursday, 14 May 2020

Labour borrows $70,000 a household, but track record shows it won’t deliver recovery

“Labour will borrow $70,000 for every household in New Zealand, but its track record shows it will fail to deliver on its promise to rebuild the economy”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Labour has delivered just 0.3 percent of its flagship KiwiBuild programme. Jacinda Ardern’s first promise as Labour leader, Auckland light rail, has now been put on hold. Child poverty, the PM’s raison d'être for being in politics, has become worse on her watch. Fees-Free failed to increase the number of tertiary students.

“Today’s Budget revealed a plan to take on $124 billion more debt, run the economic rebuild from inside the Beehive, and tax New Zealanders harder to pay for it all. This approach nearly bankrupted us in the 1980s and it will fail again.

“The Budget could have reprioritised spending, ending low-value programmes and redirecting them to tax cuts or targeted support for businesses. The failure to do so means future generations will be saddled with massive debt and will need to pay higher taxes to get it under control.

“Labour is throwing money at our problems and its pet projects. It is borrowing $70,000 for every household in the country. It will take generations to pay off the debt from these wasteful spending programmes.

ACT’s Alternative Budget shows how we can instead harness the energy of private enterprise with lower taxes and less red tape, unleash New Zealand’s potential, and come out of Covid-19 as a richer country.

“ACT would reduce the nice-to-have spending that was once affordable in good economic times. It is irresponsible to further indebt future generations without asking what savings we can make today. We would restart the economy, not with low-value handouts and Phil Twyford-run public works, but by cutting taxes and red tape.

“New Zealand can respond to the current crisis, as we did in the 1970s, with protectionism and bigger government – more debt, higher taxes, and politicians picking winners with taxpayer money. This would mask the economic pain temporarily, but it will leave us behind in the global economic recovery.

“Instead, we can unleash New Zealand’s potential with lower taxes and regulatory barriers. We can have a job-rich economic boom in the wake of Covid-19 for the benefit of the next generation.

“Government can create the environment for growth, but private enterprise must drive our response through a bottom-up recovery.

“We need to put our trust in the people. Our economic recovery will come not from the Beehive, but through millions of New Zealanders making a difference in their own lives.”