It’ll be interesting to see the full fiscal details from Labour today. National is planning to borrow too, the question is how much they differ by. Only $2.6b in the first term with both having net debt about $50b. That’s the alternative to selling our profitable assets to pay for capital investment. The Nats’ $17b claim is riddled with basic errors.
Like, they have counted Labour restarting contributions to the Cullen Fund as a cost but forgot that the government still owns that money in the Fund. They’ve only done one side of the equation.
Same with the asset sales. The Nats have charged Labour for having to borrow rather than sell assets. Labour agrees with that. But National hasn’t charged itself with the dividends it loses if it sells those assets.
They’ve charged Labour for its contribution to the CBD Rail Loop but forgotten that money comes from not building the Holiday Highway.
I don’t have the info or skills to dig into any more of their claims but that’s about $8.5b just in those three basic mistakes that even a layman can spot.
No wonder the economy is going to shit under National. They can’t even do basic counting.
Hang about: there’s also operating allowances. National has already put aside $6b for new spending in the next four years. A good part of that is needed for population growth but there’s still billions of headroom for Labour’s policies. And all that means Labour’s borrowing costs are lower than National reckons.
Update: Rob Salmond has pointed out a further $1.5b of errors by National.
So, that’s about $12.5b of National’s $17b claim explained by simple errors by Key. Labour has said it will borrow $3.6b more than National over 4 years.