Member log in

Goff picking grey, not black, budget

This week's budget will not be a black one Labour leader Phil Goff says, but next year's will be if National and Act form an alliance after the election on November 26.

Mr Goff said Finance Minister Bill English's budget on Thursday is likely to best be described as grey, as it would not tackle the fundamental economic problems the country faced, and would instead just “tinker” with them.

However, if Act leader Don Brash had any say in next year's budget, that one will undoubtedly be a black one, Mr Goff said.

The government's stance that the global financial crisis and the cost of rebuilding Christchurch after the earthquakes were to blame for the the fact that New Zealand was in debt to the tune of about $16 billion did not stack up, Mr Goff said, pointing to the $10 billion worth of reinsurance that will flow back into the country when the time comes to rebuild the city.

On top of that the $14 billion in tax cuts the government implemented were made “at the height of the global financial crisis”, he said, which Mr Key “knew full well” at the time.

Instead, the biggest drag on the economy for the six months following May last year was that “the country went backwards” in terms of economic growth. There was no plan to take the economy forward, he said.

Mr Goff said Labour would announce its economic policy closer to the election.

He ruled out a policy announcement during or immediately after the Labour Party Congress being held in Wellington later this week. “That's not about the release of major policy.”

More by Colin Williscroft

Comments and questions
5

Heh, their congress is no about major policy announcements - I suspect that is because Labour have no policies

thanks Phil for more insight as leader of the left. so what we have in reality is a budget that is ruled by what your team did for 9 years - nothing of any real worth, so the nats got to bail out your finance companies deal, interest free student loans, pay for your kiwisaver blunders as you totally over sold what NZ can afford - hence the tinkering needed. i thought the idea of kiwisaver was to encourage saving for the future, not totally destroy us in the immediate term, then add in a global recession, and a couple of earthquakes and national has bugger all to work with - nothing like a massive hospital pass after 9 years of waste from Labour

Much of the opinion with regards to Labour or National is so idealogically based that there is no recognition of the good parts done by each. Labour = repayment of govt debt that is the envy of most other developed countries, and significant investment in developing all cultural facets of NZ etc. National = belt tightening in a non-destructive progressive manner, flattening of the income tax structure etc. Granted that neither has been particularly good at articulating and implementing an economic vision for NZ, but a bit of perspective is required. After all, NZ has just been through one hell of an upheaval over the past 3 years, and over which we had NIL control.

thanks Greg - i get your point completely, and i suppose the Finance Company issues are more out of control due to the lies of those involved, nevertheless i dont agree with govt bail outs. the one i am most annoyed at is kiwisaver and how wrong the numbers in the model must have been - in that i mean Cullen and Co thought the market would never go down. again just costing all of us a massive amount of cash thru offshore borrowings

Nicely said Greg.