Budget Policy Statement Still Missing In Action

The Government has released its Budget Policy Statement today, showing worsening economic forecasts with inflation falling more quickly than expected, caused by unemployment rising and growth stalling. However, the statement lacks information on what the Government intends to do in response, said CTU Economist Craig Renney.

“The Budget Policy Statement is supposed to provide guidance and certainty around the forthcoming Budget. Sadly, both are in short supply,” said Renney.

“The Government has replaced objectives that looked to lift New Zealanders’ wellbeing and tackle climate change with cuts to public services. Kiwis deserve better than this.

“By not providing any information on forthcoming spending allowances, we have no insight into how the Government is planning to invest in New Zealand. This note reads like 8 pages of excuses for not doing your homework.

“Promises to get back to surplus have gone out the window. After fearmongering for so long about our debt position, the BPS accepts that our debt levels are within the bounds of “prudence on debt sustainability”.

“This is the time for Government to be acting responsibly by investing in New Zealand and raising its productive future. However, instead they appear to be acting pro-cyclically – cutting investment and spending at a time when the economy is in the doldrums.

“The Government has no plan for sustainably growing the economy or creating good jobs. There is no case made for tax cuts, particularly tax cuts for higher-income earners or landlords. There is nothing to meet the demands of a growing population with higher needs. Instead, it’s a return to the rhetoric that justified sustained underinvestment in the public realm.

“New Zealanders who read the Budget Policy Statement will find it short of information and short of ideas. It’s not surprising that analysts weren’t allowed to access the Government lock-up for this information release, as they would have found little to say,” said Renney.

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