National’s shambolic economic plan going from bad to worse

In order to make up for the latest missing billions in their economic plan, National are now looking to strip billions from the transport fund, putting in danger projects right across the country, Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Paul Goldsmith is floundering. He’s trying to change his plan quietly in the background so he doesn’t have to own up to his leader for another mistake. He has double counted $4 billion worth of funding, meaning there are now at least $8 billion worth of mistakes in his economic plan. In order to cover over this he is now claiming that he would take that money out of the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF) to make up the difference.

“Massive mistakes like this – if National made them in Government – would put the economic recovery at risk. Judith Collins and her team cannot be trusted to run the economy – mistakes of $4 billion or $8 billion are not inconsequential. If they were in Government, mistakes like this would have real-life consequences on jobs and infrastructure investment.

“National are all over the place on the economy. This is the legacy of having three leaders since COVID-19 and shows they are not fit to manage the economy in challenging times. If National can’t get the basics right then they certainly can’t be trusted to run the economy.

“National were already raiding the NLTF to the tune of $6.3 billion to try to make their plan add up. Now, it would need to be a $10.2 billion raid. This would mean critical transport projects already planned right across New Zealand would not go ahead. This is the fund that pays for road maintenance, safety improvements, public transport and more. 

“When National published their economic plan, they included $3.9 billion from the ‘NZ Upgrade Programme’. However, back in December the Government placed the remaining $4 billion from the Upgrade Programme into the Budget’s overall capital allowance to fund infrastructure like hospitals and schools. National had also included that capital allowance in their plan, meaning it was double counted.

“Now, National are reported as saying they didn’t mean that at all, and what they really meant was that the $3.9 billion will come from reprioritisations in the NLTF, even though that is not what appears in their plan. 

“National is a shambles, and their economic plan is a joke. It is irresponsible and unaffordable. They are making it up as they go along. Judith Collins needs to tell Paul Goldsmith to rip up his plan and start again to put something credible on the table.”