Steven Joyce's attempt to attack Labour's positive plan for affordable healthcare will fool no-one.
"We knew that National would try to say that we can't afford free GP visits and prescriptions for the New Zealanders who need it. But, as David Cunliffe said in his speech today:
'It’s budgeted, it’s paid for, it’s there in black and white. So when our opponents try to claim that we can’t afford better healthcare for New Zealanders – and they’ll try - they won’t be being honest with the public.'
Mr Joyce has tried every trick in the book in his shoddy attack.
First off, he ignores the fact that National allocated $15 billion of new spending over the next four years in Budget 2014. The difference between Labour and National is we've said how much we’ll allocate and how much we will use to reduce debt - National hasn't.
Mr Joyce has counted over two billion dollars in tax cuts as spending.
Mr Joyce failed to count the half a billion dollars in savings we'll realise by cancelling bad National policies.
Mr Joyce failed to count the $4 billion in extra revenue.
Mr Joyce’s claims are riddled with what are either amateurish mistakes or intentional errors intended to mislead.
In another example, Mr Joyce asserts the cost of Universal KiwiSaver should be higher than we have shown it because it was projected to cost more back in 2011. He knows that as at July 2011 there were 1.8 million New Zealanders in KiwiSaver. Now there are 2.3 million in KiwiSaver, so there are fewer extra people to bring in. This is obvious.
Mr Joyce was the man who, in the 2011 election forecasts, banked billions from selling off SOEs like our power companies but failed to account for the lower share of profits when the government no longer owned the companies. He denied that during the election and only admitted it when the Treasury showed it to be true.
Labour has presented a fully costed plan that shows we can afford good policies that improve Kiwis' lives while running surpluses and paying off National's record debt.
It's obvious why National is launching this unfounded attack: they can't attack our policy credibly.
Labour's plan to make doctor visits and prescriptions free for 1.7 million New Zealanders will mean more people get the medical care they need, it will save families money, and it will reduce cost to the healthcare system by treating problems early.
National needs to explain why they’re against affordable healthcare.