“Grant Robertson has this morning given himself free reign to borrow and spend an extra $90 billion with changes to the debt ceiling,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“At HYEFU Treasury forecast the Government would borrow 30 per cent of GDP in fiscal year 2026 using the old net debt measure. In his speech this morning Grant Robertson announced a new debt ceiling of 50 per cent GDP under that measure. That extra 20 per cent of Treasury’s forecast for 2026 GDP comes to $90 billion.

“Labour’s lock ‘em down, lock ‘em out, borrow, print and spend approach to COVID-19 has made 2022 the Year of the Hangover and now they’re repeating the dose to try and provide an artificial sugar rush to the economy. But when you rely on hair of the dog to cure a hangover, eventually it catches up with you and the result is ten times worse.

“Grant Robertson’s relentless borrowing and spending has added to the cost of just about everything. Prices are rising because there’s too much money chasing too few goods.

“Taking the same borrow and spend approach with his new debt ceiling could lead to an increase to our interest bill of $1.89 billion by 2026, bringing our total bill to $4.77 billion - three times what the Government is expecting to spend on housing. That’s assuming the interest rate on Government debt stays at two per cent.

“Treasury’s analysis is equally concerning. Their analysts said the ceiling should be lowered if the Government doesn’t stop funding projects without rigorous cost-benefit analysis first – which is alarming considering their projects are generally developed on ideology rather than sound policy.

“While middle New Zealand is squeezed from all angles and desperate for some tax relief, Labour is looking for ways to make life harder with more debt and more tax.

“ACT will actually make it easier for Kiwi battlers to make ends meet. We will cut the 30 per cent marginal tax rate to 17.5 per cent, we will reverse the 39 per cent tax rate and we will reverse the Government’s interest deductibility change.”