'That is an absolute fiction' – Jacinda Ardern slams National's attempts to discredit Labour's budget

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Jacinda Ardern has labeled National's attempts to discredit its fiscal plan, by accusing it of an $11 billion hole in its budget, as an "absolute fiction".

National's finance spokesperson Steven Joyce today said poor bookkeeping from Labour has led to overspending in education and health policy adding up to $11.7 billion over four years.

But Ms Ardern said the budget criticism was a purely a calculated political attack.

"I want to actually address the elephant in the room," Ms Ardern said.

"I know what National are trying to do here is damage Labour's economic credibility even though we ran nine budget surpluses, we had the strongest continuous economic growth since World War II. 

"We set them up for a good run when the GFC happened, but despite that I know they are trying to hit our credibility."

Holding up Labour's printed budget Mr Arden said:

"That is why we produced a fiscal plan. That is why we demonstrated our economic credibility, put it out there for everyone to see, and we had it independently verified."  

Ms Ardern said the Labour Party has had Brian Fallow, Bernard Hickey, Vernon Small and the independent economist BERL who verified the Party's fiscal plan, all come out and reject National's accusation of a budget hole. 

Mr English said he hoped the fiscal plan Ms Ardern held up was the updated version because, he claimed, alterations to it had been made since 10am this morning when the $11 billion hole accusation was made.

"Look, the numbers don't add up," Mr English said.

Mr English said Labour haven't rolled out expenditure in their fiscal plan, and funding for a policy their first year of government wasn't provided for in the next years of their term.

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