In today’s speech, national leader Christopher Luxan said the government’s new $ 6 billion spending in the 2022 budget is “hard to justify”.
He suggested that National would not support this level of spending, and called on the government to reconsider these new spending in order to reduce it as well as looking to reduce existing spending.
Luxan said the government needed to “review existing spending and reconsider plans for the largest budget expenditures in history.”
“It’s very difficult to justify the new record annual spending of $ 6 billion in an overheated economy,” he said.
National is ambiguous about the government’s budget aid for 2022 – the amount of money set aside for new spending, which Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced in December.
He criticized the record level of these new daily expenses, $ 6 billion, but also said they should be used to fund National’s $ 1.7 billion tax reduction policy, leaving part for new spending.
Finance spokeswoman Nicola Willis then wrote an article stating that the government should reconsider spending because of their inflationary impact. The operating margin of $ 6 billion is large by recent standards. The previous national government had never provided more than $ 2 billion in operating assistance.
Any decision to call for a serious re-selection of priorities or cuts in new spending is likely to pave the way for a political response to the budget. A significant redefinition of priorities would likely mean some “cuts”, while a significant reduction in new spending would lead to claims that the National would not fund rising public service costs.
Luxon made remarks in a speech before the EMA, where he outlined his economic vision. May is the budget month, and there are only three weeks left until the budget day on May 19. Many days of the budget month are usually full of speeches and announcements.
Luxon used his speech to turn away from the government budget itself and to the economy as a whole.
He outlined the “five levers of prosperity”: education and skills, infrastructure, technology, business environment and connections with the world.
Luxan said the government needed to make sure the regulatory environment was not hostile to business
“The new rules must be based on results – not politics and back. The old rules must be constantly re-examined – if they no longer meet the objectives, they need to be changed or repealed.
“It’s hard work, but it matters. No regulation will kill business, but the total cost of dozens of outdated rules and unresponsive systems can be significant. And it raises prices across the economy,” Luxan said.
He said the government needs to make sure it is open to investment from abroad to develop the economy.
“We need to attract real investment to our shores that promotes growth, which makes New Zealand firms stronger and helps New Zealand workers work smarter and earn higher wages,” he said.
“Discovering the world supports competition, faster adoption of technology, deeper capital markets and greater access to international know-how. That’s good,” Luxan said.
“There is a global market with almost 8 billion people and we would be stupid not to accept it,” he said.