New Zealand Labour Party

Where there's smoke and mirrors, there's Steven Joyce

Steven Joyce’s much vaunted pre-Budget speech is simply an underwhelming response to the infrastructure deficit National has created, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“Steven Joyce has belatedly come to the realisation that everyone else has a long time ago, that this country needs an urgent and enormous catch-up from nine years of under investment by this government.

“He’s promising $11b on infrastructure over the next four years. Really?

“This is just playing with numbers. When you peel it all back, what you have is National today only promising to spend an extra $300m a year from the promise made in the half year Budget update.

“In fact, it’s spending nothing new at all in 2018/19. This is just laughable. The new spending announced today is only enough to buy 650 metres of the Auckland city Central Rail Link each year.

“Aucklanders won’t know whether to laugh or cry when Steven Joyce tells them congestion is caused by road cones. They know it’s been caused by the massive failure of National to invest in Auckland.

“The other so-called announcement today is a new debt target of 10-15 per cent by 2025. In fact this is simply a gloomier target than that Treasury was already predicting. So what’s he playing at? He needs to come clean about his tax cuts plan – is he borrowing to fund tax cuts?

“Steven Joyce blew a chance today to set out National’s vision.

“Labour has a plan to deal with the housing crisis, get young New Zealanders back working and into training, and grow decent jobs with higher wages. That’s what Steven Joyce should have been setting out today. It is what a Labour government will do,” says Grant Robertson.