2311 AD: Finance Minister Bill English has lashed out at the Labour Party, claiming that the New Zealand economy remains weak because of nine years of poor economic stewardship by Labour over three hundred years ago.
Speaking shortly after delivering his 303rd Budget, and just before returning to the cryogenic freezer for another eleven months, Mr English said that National had inherited an economy in tatters, and that it would take some time before the government’s books returned to a strong state.
“Labour’s reckless irresponsibility is still being felt today. This has forced us to make some tough decisions.”
Under last week’s Budget the Government announced further changes to Kiwisaver, and a reduction of the maximum Working for Families fortnightly payment to $0.49, down from the previous level of $0.52.
Mr English also announced a reduction in the level of income tax paid by those within the top tax bracket, in order to stimulate the struggling luxury boat market.
The Government’s moves have been heavily criticised, but Mr English defended the Budget by claiming National had to cut costs somewhere.
“The reality is that Labour’s policies of running massive budget surpluses, using them to reduce government debt levels to historic lows, introducing a superannuation scheme to boost the culture of savings in this country, and putting aside billions of dollars to fund retirement, were fiscally and economically reckless. Unlike, say, our tax cuts.
“Labour’s irresponsibility over three hundred years ago left us with no choice but to give further tax breaks to the wealthy. We simply can’t afford to lose our brightest and best finance company directors and property developers overseas.”
Mr English said that decades of flat economic growth were now behind the country, because Treasury projections were predicting strong growth in the coming year.
“We’re confident that these projections are entirely accurate. Unlike the last three hundred years of Treasury projections, which frankly weren’t fit for lining a dog kennel.”
Mr English said that being firmly in last place on most major OECD rankings was a sign National’s policies were finally working.
“Three centuries of prudent economic management have arrested the slide down the OECD table. Now the only way is up, and we’re planning a step-change for a brighter future.”