Govt 'conflates spending announcements' with outcomes - Luxon

May 25, 2022

National leader Christopher Luxon says the Government conflates spending announcements with actually getting outcomes, as he continues his criticism of Budget 2022.

Luxon told Breakfast the amount Government is spending adds to the "fuel on the inflation fire".

"I'm concerned that actually we're doing a lot of damage to our financial books because we're not managing the fiscal situation as well as we can, with as much discipline as we can."

Luxon described the Government's one-off, cost of living payment of $350 for people earning $70,000 and under who do not get the Winter Energy Payment, as "band-aid economics".

The payment will be going to around 2.1 million people and spread out over three months from August, working out to be about $27 extra a week.

Luxon said the payment is a "band-aid on a major wound".

"What happens at the end of the three months?" he remarked.

READ MORE: $350 cost of living payment about 'softening the edges' - PM

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has ruled out extending the payment past three months, while Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Breakfast on Monday the payment was about "softening the edges".

Economic commentator Bernard Hickey has described the policy as "a few crumbs out there".

"It's not going to really change the equation for most people," he said.

Luxon also questioned the Government spending $327 million on the merger of TVNZ and RNZ in Budget 2022 and $650 million on moving businesses away from using fossil fuels. He also called in to question spending on delivering the firearms register.

READ MORE: Budget 2022 takes NZ 'backwards' - Christopher Luxon

Luxon said the merger isn't a good use of money and said it is a "solution in search of a problem". Luxon has previously said that while National does not support it, if it came into Government next year they would not reverse the merger.

He also said businesses should be responsible for moving themselves away from fossil fuels.

Luxon claimed under Labour there has been "more bureaucrats and worst outcomes on every portfolio".

"We've got a Government that conflates spending announcements with actually getting outcomes.

"There's a real need to put financial discipline back into those departments and their spending."


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