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National-ACT botched budget a risk to recovery

Reports today that ACT has joined National in having major mistakes and gaps in its alternative Budget highlights how unprepared the Opposition is for Government and the risks that a National-ACT coalition would pose to New Zealand’s economic recovery, Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“The only path for success for National and Judith Collins at the election will be through an increasingly powerful ACT Party whose economic plan is a cocktail of radical spending cuts and rolling back of COVID-19 support measures,” Grant Robertson said.

“Newsroom has reported today a multi-billion dollar gap in ACT’s fiscal plan. Added to the multi-billion dollar mistakes in Paul Goldsmith’s fiscals and you have an Opposition not fit to govern, who would pose serious risk to our economic recovery.

“ACT is proposing a set of measures that no serious economy is adopting. All around the world, leaders understand the need to stimulate their economies in order to grow, while ACT is proposing major cuts to vital services, including the COVID health response.

“ACT’s power in a Judith Collins-led Government will mean National will be beholden to its demands. This would have a devastating impact on critical public services that New Zealanders rely on.

“National’s draft budget already means cuts to services like health and education. These will be magnified by an ACT Party that wants to get rid of policies like the Winter Energy Payment, and potentially cancel contracts that government departments have entered into with private businesses.

“Judith Collins herself has advocated for undoing the agreements made with companies who legally received the wage subsidy. If a National-ACT Government led by Judith Collins goes around cancelling legally binding contracts then this will impact on business confidence right at a time when we need businesses to be investing.

“National is having a hard enough time getting its own budget right. They’ve got a multi-billion dollar hole, have promised more in spending than Paul Goldsmith has set aside, and now they’ll be beholden to the demands of an ACT Party intent on ripping out the measures put in place to support businesses and cushion the blow for households through COVID-19.”