National is setting future generations of New Zealanders up for a borrowing binge while they mislead New Zealanders with claims asset sale funds can be spent over and over – in a new take on printing money, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“John Key is playing New Zealanders for fools. He keeps promising the earth from asset sales proceeds but knows that there is no way the money will cover all his promises.
“It’s printing money, National Party-style.
“National’s senior ministers are in an unseemly rush to grab the proceeds of SOE sell-offs for themselves.
“John Key told us asset sales are necessary to ‘avoid a credit downgrade’, months before New Zealand suffered a downgrade. Tony Ryall said that asset sales are necessary to pay down debt.
“Bill English claimed the money will be used to build ‘schools and hospitals’. Gerry Brownlee insisted that asset sales cash will to be used to rebuild Christchurch. Nathan Guy said the money is needed to subsidise irrigation on multi-million dollar farms.
“The spending splurge goes on. Just last week the Government pledged $10 billion for Auckland and almost $3 billion for Christchurch, claiming that asset sales will help cover that spending.
“Asset sales can’t fund all of that. The truth is sales have only netted $1.7 billion.
“National must stop trying to justify its asset sales programme by promising cheques for every cause under the sun. The truth is asset sales won’t cover the Government’s promises. This Government is on a borrowing binge.
“In contrast the last Labour Government reduced gross government debt from 38 per cent of GDP to 18 per cent and net debt to zero,” says David Parker.
2 July 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT