Release: Nicola Willis’ numbers still don’t add up

Kiwis are none-the-wiser today after Nicola Willis’ botched Budget Policy Statement.

“It’s highly embarrassing for a Finance Minister to be unable to do what has been required of every Finance Minister since the introduction of the Public Finance Act,” Labour finance spokesperson Barbara Edmonds said.

“Nicola Willis’ refusal to provide a concrete budget allowance is a step backwards in terms of transparency and accountability.

“Her decision to fund her tax cuts through public service cuts and new taxes contradicts her election promise of ‘no new taxes for working people.

“Nicola Willis is choosing to push ahead with her plan that will help fewer New Zealanders than she claimed, over support for people with disabilities and their carers or fully funding the school lunch programme.

“Values matter, and today’s Budget Policy Statement confirms exactly where her priorities lie.

“We have seen an indefinite freeze on hiring non-sworn Police officers which could take police officers off the street, new classrooms cancelled at schools up and down the country, firefighting budgets being called flabby and Customs officers at the border being asked to volunteer for redundancy.

“The sheer number of frontline services in the firing line shows the Minister’s claims that our police, firefighters, border protection, health and education services wouldn’t be touched are complete fiction.

“National has broken its commitment to not introduce new taxes or increase fuel taxes. Nicola Willis has broken her promise to remove the “app tax” she campaigned against. She’s walked back her commitment to return the books to surplus by 2027. And she is breaking her commitment to not cut front line services.

“Nicola Willis’ tax cuts were never affordable and never properly costed, and yet she’s pushing ahead with cuts that will impact the front line to pay for them anyway.

“She should heed the advice she is getting from all quarters and pull back on her unaffordable and inequitable plans to provide tax cuts to the wealthiest New Zealanders while cutting support for those who need it the most,” Barbara Edmonds said.

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