New Zealand Labour Party

Key’s priorities the real ‘load of nonsense’

The Prime Minister’s fixation with tax cuts, despite a failure to pay down any debt and growing pressure on public services is the real ‘load of nonsense’, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. 

“We’re getting mixed messages from National. John Key said on the weekend that Treasury’s forecasts were ‘a load of nonsense’, but by yesterday he was chucking around their surplus forecasts as an excuse for promises of tax cuts.

“’Bill English and John Key are trying to run their good cop / bad cop routine on tax cuts. But it’s starting to feel like ‘Keystone Cops’. Surely the Minister of Finance must know that it’s irresponsible to be frittering away money when there are so many pressing needs in the economy. 

“It’s plainly obvious that there are far bigger priorities than tax cuts. To start with there’s an earthquake to recover from, debt to be repaid, a  $1.7 billion shortfall in health spending,  and building the affordable houses that first home buyers so desperately need.

“The message from New Zealanders is clear. A poll yesterday revealed 48 per cent want increased spending for better social services, 31 per cent want to reduce national debt and only 17 per cent want a tax cut for themselves. 

“The reason New Zealand was able to recover better than some other countries from the global financial crisis was because the last Labour government resisted the calls from John Key and others for tax cuts. 

“Only a Labour government can deliver security and opportunity for New Zealanders through affordable homes, proper funding for health, education and the police, and decent work across the country,” says Grant Robertson.