Greens want to spend the surplus

Well, of course, they do.

” Don’t shoot “

A newspaper ?reports: quote:

Green Party Co-Leader James Shaw is calling on the Government to use the money from its “extremely healthy” books to invest in New Zealand’s public sector.

“What good is a surplus if you have people living in cars or garages ? that makes no sense,” he told the?Herald.

“Frankly, a surplus is inefficient if you don’t use it.” end quote.

While Grant Robertson doesn’t exactly rate as one of my favourite finance ministers, I will give him credit for the fact that he is trying to be fiscally conservative with his new found budget surplus, saying he wants to keep a chunk of the funds for the rainy day that we all know is on the horizon.

But for the Greens, if there is money available, it has got to be spent. Don’t worry about the rainy day there are always tax hikes to take care of that. quote:

The Coalition Government’s self-imposed rules mandate those figures to stay below 20 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively. This means Finance Minister Grant Robertson is $6.3 billion under his spending and borrowing limits.

Shaw said the Government should be using that money to invest in New Zealand’s “massive infrastructure deficit”.

“New Zealand’s debt levels are well within what the international markets would deem to be prudent, interest rates are historically low and we have a massive infrastructure deficit; to me, that just all points in the direction of using that surplus for infrastructure investment in particular.”

That investment, he said, should come from both the surplus and the 2.1 per cent headroom the Government has before it reaches its 30 per cent spending limit ? a combined total of $11.5 billion.

“We often lose sight of why it is that we [MPs] do this stuff, which is to serve the people of New Zealand and make sure they have the basic services they need. end quote.

It all sounds very noble, James, but it also sounds like a free for all. We do not need your open chequebook policies to ruin the financial future of the country.

$5.5 billion sounds like a lot of money, but in reality, it can disappear in a heartbeat. Remember that a lot of this government’s policies have not been realised yet, and they have not allocated all their funds to spending commitments, such as Kiwibuild or the planting of 1 billion trees because they can’t actually get these projects off the ground.

But James Shaw’s attitude towards the surplus, treating it as if it was a Lotto win, is both irresponsible and reprehensible. This is why so many of us are loathe to have Green MPs anywhere near the halls of power. They simply do not get it. quote:

National Leader Simon Bridges said the Government’s surplus means it should not be imposing more taxes on New Zealanders already facing higher living costs.

“The Government has piled on taxes since the election. The extra fuel taxes alone are pushing up the price of petrol for Kiwi motorists by hundreds of dollars a year. It needs to reverse these extra costs.” end quote.

Simon is right, but it won’t happen. The surplus will not encourage this government to give hardworking taxpayers some of their own money back. They are much more likely to give it to beneficiaries instead because they want to be ‘kind’.

Credit where it is due to Grant Robertson. (I can’t believe I just said that.) And remember… if Labour had won the 2014 election, our last or possibly even current finance minister would have been Russel Norman.

I’ll bet that just put you off your cornflakes…