Adams will hold govt to account over any broken budget promises

National's finance spokeswoman Amy Adams says Labour and its support parties have created high expectations.

National finance spokeswoman Amy Adams has warned the coalition government it will be held to account over any broken promises in this Thursday’s budget.

Ms Adams says during the election campaign Labour and its support parties created high expectations.

“They had bullish and open-ended promises about what they would do and what they thought needed to be done. They had a number of commitments they made to New Zealanders and they created very high expectations in wage rounds. That’s what they used to get elected. If they’re going to be honest with the people of New Zealand that they’re not going to break trust in their first budget, then they need to deliver on what they said.”

National has repeated its criticism of the government’s decision to scrap tax cuts it had put in place last year, which would have reduced the average tax burden for families by about $1000 a year.

Ms Adams says Labour got rid of those tax cuts even though it faced large and growing budget surpluses. In contrast in Australia, which still faces deficits, the two major parties are arguing over which would cut taxes the most.

“Remember this is not government money. This is the money of hardworking New Zealanders the government’s helped itself to. And we’ve got an obligation not to take any more than the government absolutely needs so, when the government is taking more than it reasonably needs, it should return a bit to the people who earn it.”

She says that is the view in Australia but New Zealand is going in the opposite direction. Not only has the coalition government cancelled National’s tax cuts, it has also imposed new taxes that will put a significant burden on people over the next four years.

The government, however, scrapped National’s tax cuts so it could afford its families package. The Treasury estimates this will increase the weekly incomes of about 384,000 low and middle-income families on average by $75 a week, or $3900 a year, once it is fully implemented in 2021.

But Ms Adams says even before the budget has been delivered the government has broken its promise over tax.

“You make prosperity as a country from having a strong economy, not by taxing and taxing and taxing more. In fact, if you try to create government wealth to pay for things through more tax, you kill the economy.”

She says what New Zealand has done well, particularly since the global financial crisis, has been to ensure the economy is strong and growing. That has helped increase the tax take and provide the government with more money to spend.

“Before any new taxes this government is already looking to get an extra $20 billion a year in tax revenue over the next four years because we’ve got a strong economy.”

The numbers
In the December half-year economic and fiscal update the Treasury forecast core Crown tax revenue would rise from $75.644b in 2017 to $97.815b in 2022.

Ms Adams says if people are taxed more heavily those who are upwardly mobile and those with skills will simply move to Australia where effort is rewarded and not punished.

She says the government had already made some poor spending decisions, such as making the first year of tertiary education free. Despite the $2.8b of spending not one extra student has taken up tertiary education.

“Yet they’re telling us they don’t have the money to fund the Roxburgh children’s camps, they haven’t got the money to follow up on their promises of cheaper doctors’ visits.”

Ms Adams says the government’s priorities have to be questioned.

“When they can put a billion dollars into the foreign affairs budget and prioritise more diplomats and a new embassy over cheaper healthcare for New Zealanders, when they promised them that, I think you really have to question all their big talk about looking after the vulnerable starts to become a bit illusory.”

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Is she going to deliver a 'shadow budget'??

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I think she will soon find out that being in opposition means you can do bugger all. Enjoy.

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All we want from an opposition are the facts.
Don't moan,groan and oppose everthing.Somethings they will get right.

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Hi Hop Sing,

The very reason that I made a call to publish this interview UNLOCKED was because I thought Ms Adams did a great job of pointing out that Labour was being “Illusory” in regards to the promises it made to gain the numbers to form a coalition. That is a fact and that’s what she eloquently stated in the interview. Nothing more, nothing less. 

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In govt for 9 years
Did nothing but increase debt form $15b to $75b and now think they can hold the high ground
Give me a break
NB I am a National Party supporter

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Well said

National needs to reinvent itself with new policy - not act like whining poms
Adams was a senor member of the National cabinet who denied there was a housing crisis and let the education and health sectors deteriorate

She has no credibility throwing stones - where are Nationals counter policies

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I have said the following before so it might not get posted for being "repetitive" but here goes. Back in June 2014 John Key stated in the Grey Power magazine that "the books were in surplus and we will not leave a rising burden of debt for future generations." While National was still office, the National Debt rose to some NZ$120 BILLION and then suddenly dropped overnight to some 80 od Billion. I never did find out how that happened. The point I am making is that it does not matter which party/parties are "supposedly" in power, the famous Rotschild quote of "I care not who makes a country's laws as long as I control the money" still holds true and will continue to hols trur unless and until we get id of the central banking system. What is happening in Australia and the portrait of Andrew Jackson in a very prominent place in The Oval Office may, hopefully, be the thin end of the wedge. The NZ Debt clock "https://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/debtclock/newzealand" today shows NZ$94.675 BILLION and every Kiwi now owes NZ$20,027.00. It will not improve any time soon, or EVER, for that matter while the private banks continue to have a licence to create money as debt out of thin air and the government and the people continue to borrow because it is the only (rigged) game in town, well, in the world actually. I am not a National or Labour Party supporter. I am not overly enthused by any of the others either!

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Mate $75b that's a new figure. Where did you get that from? BTW kudos to Grant for calling her out on not answering the question about trickle down. Of course she didn't answer it the second time he asked either but at least he tried..

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Did nothing but increase debt. And yet according to Scribe and his ilk, they severely underspent on health and god knows what else. Shows how the mind of a Labourite works.

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hi steve - are you on the same planet as the rest of us? you seem to have forgotten both the earthquakes (x2) and the GFC not to mention NZ was already in recession (unlike the rest of the globe) even before the latter event started

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You forgot the multi-billion dollar treaty of Waitangi settlements under the National Government.

Government spending increased by 50% between 2005 and 2008 dropped slightly when National got in, and then increased thanks to the events you mention.

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Pot calling the kettle black.

The widening gap between rich and poor is growing.

The DHBs are a shambles due to underfunding and requests to keep the budgets under control.

Wake up the chickens are now coming home to roost.

Interesting to note that the opening remarks from National more and more slate of Labour, get a grip.

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There will always be a gap between rich and poor. What ensures that the poor will remain poor is more handouts.

Dumping tax cuts to fund more handouts is penalising those that work and earn, rewarding those that don’t earn enough.

As always, the socialists think that people are automatons with no feelings that will not react to increased tax.

Labour has budgeted on increased tax on increased country growth. Typical parasitical mechaniod thinking.

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Guess that you are rich then Samuel.

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Perhaps Samuel simply wants what he has earned.

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Maybe it is a case of seeing a number of characteristics in the embryo of this forming socialist government that give me goosebumps because it reminds me of similar trends that have formed in other undesirable governments in history.

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Agree - us spending over 50% of our social welfare budget on benefits to old folks regardless of need certainly impoverishes workers, and infrastructure investment.

But yes...what we needed was to cut taxes further for those who received free education, while increasing the debt load we foist upon young Kiwis for the same. Whilst also increasing subsidies to reduce wage loads on companies (Working for Families), subsidies to property investors (Accommodation Supplement). Not to mention subsidising farming, trucking companies (East-West Link) etc.

If National was a viable alternative who would actually stop accelerating the gap between the especially older voters who have received so much from society (including affordable housing), and younger voters to whom they're handing on far less...well, that would be refreshing.

NZ has two socialist parties. They just have different favourite recipients. Time we lost the "did it all on my own two feet" pretense.

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My main point was identifying the thinking that goes with increasing taxes based on increased growth and revenue while at the same time as creating disincentives for growth.

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If you know you are being Taxed for everything including the family home what is the point of going to work ???

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I realized that 15 years ago, thats why I don't work,its just nice to wake up and smell the roses, there are 2 words that are swear words to me, one is jobs and the other is work,no point in working hard you just pay more tax,and you don't get 1st prize for that.

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Labours beat up on Landlord Housing providers that are leaving in droves is causing this spike in desperation for rental housing leaving Tenants out in the cold !

Labour is fully responsible for this Rental shortage crisis and needs to Stop its restrictive policy against rental housing provider landlords !

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You wouldn't be a landlord by any chance, Mark?

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National had many chances to cut income taxes, but instead raised GST and left in place many of Cullen's petty taxes, levies and fees. National should have cut when they had the chance, not after the election, that was just a fairy tale, not a tax cut. They dangled the carrot for too long and by the time they are back in power Labour will have ruined the economy ... so no tax cuts for you!

$20 billion extra a year! wow, Labour government will be wasting money like there is no tomorrow.

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What amazes me about this Labour coalition govt, is that even after nearly 10 years of not being in govt, when they finally do get back into power even with their supporters they are no different than Labour govts of old. Election promises are broken, and new taxes are introduced. It's just the same old same old with this crowd.
No wonder people get sick of them.

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Mind you, you also described why people voted National out.

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Really? Last time I looked the National party got the most votes at the last election. The only reason we have this govt is because one old man had a grudge against the Nats for something he can't prove.

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MMP, how does it work?????

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Very poorly, it would seem.

In other responsible areas of life we pick the people who are most competent for the job. When it comes to the most important jobs in the country, with control of taxpayers lives and money, we hire not on competency and excellence or even who gets the most votes. We hire based on a collective addition of votes, irrespective of competency, work-ability, congruence in ideas or popularity. Participants, wetting themselves with the thought of getting into power, will happily divorce their values, principles (if they had any in the first place) and the voters that got them there, purely to get a seat at the last supper. And it's often the mischief makers.

Furthermore we have lists of people no-one voted for, who get in on the numbers, not because people in a particular electorate selected them as their representative. Many are actually unpopular and couldn't win a seat if they tried. How does someone that no-one has faith in, get to be in charge?
This is how Hitler made his way in, on the party list system.

On that basis: At school, the head boy and head girl would be replaced by bullies; If you got 6 lotto numbers you won't get a cent because 6 other people could collectively get their lotto lines together to add up to six + Powerball.

If you got 24 out of 25 answers correct on your driving test, you would fail because five other people who each only got 5 right answers could collectively score 25 out of 25.

On your overseas trip, the pilot of the plane , who has an IQ of 150, and upon whose skill your life and the lives of other passengers depend, could be replaced by 3 less competent people who have a collective IQ of 225.

The winner of Miss Universe who scored 97 out of 100, could be displaced by Cinderellas 10 ugly sisters who between them might be able to rustle up one good set of legs, one nice face and so on.

Collectivism is a socialist construct and a sign of individuals with lowered competency and diminished responsibility, and which given time, will always evolve into dictatorship, as the unearned power slowly corrupts. MMP is rule by collectivism, not competency or most popular and most likely to get the job done. It allows un-trustworthy party candidates to get a seat.

Be careful what you wish for.
If we don't learn from history we are destined to repeat it.

MMP=Mixed up Muppet Party.

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65% of NZ First voters surveyed preferred a coalition with Labour. NZ now has a government representing a majority of voters. National wasn't able to successfully manage MMP, and attempting to take partners out of the equation backfired on them. They should have been smarter.

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65% x 7.2% party vote = 4.6% of the voting public. So NZ’s fate was decided by 4.6% of the population.

Hardly a majority of voters. It would be a majority if they polled all voters and asked who do they think should form a government.

This screwed up MMP system and coalition governments decided by a minority party is how despots like Hitler come to Power.

Not all despots have cropped moustaches, and most start with high but unworkable ideals. Even Hitler started out with plenty of photo shoots with animals, children and public, promising positive but unworkable ideals and bringing about change for youth. He was even hailed as a hero when he banned smoking in cafes, restaurants and some public places.

But given the reins to Power he had not earned, the righteous ego kicked in.

Being elected PM is a massive responsibility, not a $50m lotto win. Dealing with either successfully requires discipline and best suited to those that have already produced and achieved. Not some cockamamie idealist.

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Your lengthy contribution is entertaining and some of it is quite accurate but I take issue with your final paragraph.

John Key in his role as PM may have been a "cockamamie idealist" but he too was an entertainer, flamboyant in such things as impersonating gender bending, and ponytail tweaking.

And over the decade John proved to be very astute at fiscal management, of his own affairs. It's for sure that he will not be perturbed by the social and infrastructural mayhem that his party left in its wake.

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Whatever mayhem his party left it its wake, it it is a speck in the dust compared with what Labour has already done.

I don't see John Key as a "cockamamie idealist". That is strictly reserved for current entrenched mob. Of course if he was to get up in front of an audience of international young socialists, whip them into a frenzy, address them as comrades, and make outrageous promises such as planting 30,000 trees per hour (daylight hours) every day without a clue as to how this will occur; shut down oil exploration; increase taxes after having promised not to; then he too could earn the title "cockamamie idealist".

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Of course it is never as binary as it is made out to be. National are usually telling us they "won" the election. Actually it was more complicated than that.

Politicians always promise outcomes that they can't deliver. It is the nature of things but not all politicians have good intentions. If you can't control the outcome you do have influence and you do your best.

I'm guessing the surplus is not real and really the equivalent of pushing problems under the rug for health, housing, transport and education. The surplus was financial sophistry - robbing the poor to buy votes from the middle and upper income groups.

Of course a former cabinet minister with "blood on their hands" would try stepping up but we saw what you did when you had the chance. Chill out - we have a chance to see a fairer system and all that promise talk - that is the illusion.

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After Labour Bankrupts the country with massive Taxation and Spending the people will be living in the streets and handing back the house keys to the Bank.
The Islands and the King of Tonga will be rich with Billions of dollars sent his way by Jacinder and Winston while the working class Kiwis scavenge for the last drop of Petrol because of the OIl ban !

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