Judith Collins needs to show leadership on Goldsmith’s budget debacle

Judith Collins needs to step up and show some leadership on Paul Goldsmith’s budget debacle following reports today that National and the economic agency they used to verify their plan are each using different numbers in their latest versions, Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Paul Goldsmith and the independent agency National used to verify his numbers are now saying two different things about where the money is coming from, while another mistake was revealed yesterday. 

“Paul Goldsmith is now making mistakes about the mistakes he’s made in his budget. These errors are ruining National’s credibility. It’s a shambles, and Judith Collins needs to sort it out. She needs to tell Paul Goldsmith to rip up his budget and start again.

“These problems would have real world consequences. To pay for the latest error in their plan National is saying they will raid the fund that pays for our roads, maintenance, safety improvements, cycleways and more. This is called the National Land Transport Fund, and is funded through petrol taxes and levies. National’s approach would see projects around New Zealand have to be cut and jobs would be lost.  

“It is not good enough for Judith Collins to call Paul Goldsmith’s multi-billion dollar mistakes ‘inconsequential’ and play down the missing money. It’s time for her to stop avoiding the questions about her Finance Spokesperson and give some serious answers.

“The next Government needs to be focussed on the recovery from COVID-19, not figuring out how to make its numbers add up. New Zealand cannot afford National and their mistake-riddled budget.

“The current National Party do not have the experience to even put together an alternative budget, let alone a real one. There is no John Key or Bill English any more, and it shows. 

“It is quite clear now why the party leadership has dropped their claim of having a ‘strong team’ from their new advertising. This is the legacy of having three different leaders since COVID-19. National are distracted and not fit to govern.

“Labour has a clear plan for the recovery and rebuild from COVID-19. What New Zealand needs now is stability and continuity, not a shambolic, divided and distracted National Party that can’t even make its own numbers add up.”

The catalogue of National’s budget bungle:

  • $4 billion error when calculating how much they would save from cancelling Super Fund contributions
  • $88 million error by using the wrong numbers for their capital allowance
  • Double counting $3.9 billion of funding and then disagreeing with independent economic agency over how they will pay for the mistake
  • Not factoring in lost tax income due to lower Super Fund returns after contributions are cancelled
  • Not accounting for basic running costs for health and education