National would get the books back into the black with a $1.5b surplus by 2014/15. It’s on their ads, it’s in the PREFU. So, it’s gotta be true, eh? Well, we already know they’ve cooked the books by claiming both that they would have the revenue from asset sales and the dividends from those sold assets – $262m a year in 2014/15 by Labour’s estimate.
Now, their ETS changes have opened a second great big hole in their budget.
National would delay the end of the ‘two for one’ deal that polluters currently get for their carbon credits, phasing it out over 3 years, rather than ending it in 2013, keep the price cap of $25 a tonne, and ‘review’ the entry of agriculture into the ETS (they claim that agriculture can’t reduce its emissions, despite the fact it has already done so).
The PREFU estimates the cost of these policies are $585m a year.
Two weeks ago, National’s PREFU surplus in 2014/15 would be $1.45b – just on the basis of their ETS and asset sales policies it’s down to less than $600m.
And these policies mean for debt as well. Labour estimates that National’s asset sales would mean $11b in foregone revenue by 2025/26 (National has yet to release it’s own estimate). With interest, National’s ETS policy would be another $11b over that timeframe – all to extend taxpayer subsidies greenhouse gas pollution.
National needs to explain the $22b hole in its budget, and quick.
Yesterday, after Labour released their Top 10 list of National’s economic failings, the Herald got a demographer in to check their numbers on emigration to Australia (they were right, although the demographer preferred the ‘all citizenships’ measure, rather than just New Zealand citizens). I look forward to the same level of scrutiny being applied to National’s claims.