Generations of Kiwis could suffer from 'debt legacy' made by Govt's wasteful spending, says Simon Bridges

National Party leader Simon Bridges says he's concerned generations of Kiwis could be left dealing with a "debt legacy" created by the Government if there is wasteful spending to counter Covid-19 in this year's Budget.

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The Opposition Leader said this year's Budget could lead to a poorer New Zealand in the future if money isn't allocated correctly. Source: Breakfast

Mr Bridges spoke to TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning about New Zealand's ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic and continued his argument for Kiwi businesses to get up and running again.

"I think we've got ourselves into this space where we think it's all safety and if we do that we can't also get New Zealand working again and I don't believe that," Mr Bridges said.

"We're in a position where we've flattened the curve and I just don't want us to flatten the economy along with that.

"We will have to leave at some point and have more openness and businesses tell me every day they can do that safely with distancing, good processes and so on. So why wouldn't we let that happen?"

Mr Bridges went on to say his other big concern currently revolves around next week's Budget announcement. He says he fears the Government could apply short-term fixes to the financial impact of Covid-19, which could hurt New Zealand financially for decades.

"The Government could quite easily turn a $40 billion problem for New Zealand into a $100 billion one with wasteful spending that's not targeted and not dealing with the issues we have right here and now.

"Here's the issue with all that debt - New Zealanders will have to pay it back.

"It will inevitably mean more taxes for New Zealanders, it will inevitably mean that your children and my children and their grandchildren in fact will suffer the debt legacy in a poorer New Zealand."

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Breakfast her Government haven't ruled out using "helicopter money" - cash given to the public freely by the Government to encourage spending - as a means to get the economy going again post-Covid-19.

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Government’s response to Covid-19 was "really considered". Source: Breakfast

"I've been really cautious not to rule anything in or out so that's not me giving you any kind of hint there at all John, we just haven't ruled anything in or out," Ms Ardern said.

"When you're considering all of the options to get the economy heating up because as the Minister of Finance constantly says, it's less like a light switch, more like an oven, it takes a bit to warm up."

This year's Budget will be announced next Thursday, May 14.