New Zealand Labour Party

Mega million waste of taxpayer cash

The Government has once again demonstrated reckless economic management by ignoring official advice not to push ahead with controversial changes to the child support system, Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Treasury initially raised concerns in 2011, warning that Inland Revenue’s original $34 million cost estimate was low. They again raised concerns about the costings for the project in 2012. By February of 2014 Treasury, the State Services Commission and the Government Chief Information Officer all called for the project to be abandoned.

"But the National Government pressed on and costs have blown out to $163 million and possibly up to $210 million.

"This is reckless and irresponsible. Ministers have been too afraid to admit that the project is a botch-up and protecting their backsides is now costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

“These changes were touted as being about fairness. How fair is it to throw public money at a system you have been told is already broken?

“This is no way for a responsible government to administer the public’s money. It is an arrogant misuse of it.

"With this kind of wasteful spending it’s no wonder National will fail to post a Budget surplus for the seventh time,” Grant Robertson says.