'We needed a proper plan' - Simon Bridges takes aim at Budget 2020

The Government's 2020 Budget announced today lacks a coherent plan, according to National leader Simon Bridges.

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The National leader says today's Budget won't be enough to revive the economy. Source: 1 NEWS

Announced this afternoon by Finance Minister Grant Robertson, the 2020 Budget has largely focused on New Zealand's economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Included in the Budget is a $50 billion Covid-19 response and recovery fund, consisting of a $4 billion business support package that includes a targeted $3.2 billion to extend the wage subsidy scheme.

Elsewhere, $1.4 billion will go towards a free trades training package, a $1 billion environmental jobs package, $3.3 billion for health and education, as well as $3 billion for infrastructure and 8000 public house build programmes.

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However, in a release shortly after the Budget's announcement, Mr Bridges was quick to criticise the Government's financial plan for 2020.

"Kiwis have sacrificed so much through the restrictions of the lockdown, our collective efforts have so far worked well, now we need to get our economy cranking again," Mr Bridges says.

"With a thousand people a day joining the dole queue we needed a proper plan. Spending money is the easy part. But investing billions where it will make the most difference was what we needed.

"Today we are seeing an extra $140 billion of debt. That's $80,000 per household and it's our children and grandchildren who will be paying for it. That's equivalent to a second mortgage on every house.

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"We will have $100 billion in deficits for the next four years. The Government will spend more than $50 billion, more than any Government has ever spent in any one Budget.

"It needed to be spent in a responsible and disciplined way. What this Budget lacks is any detail and accountability of how it will be spent and what it will achieve. National has a plan to get New Zealand working again and we have a strong team to implement that plan.

"The problem with debt is that it needs to be paid back and the problem with Labour is they'll increase your taxes to do that."

Addressing Parliament today, Mr Bridges accused the Government of moving too slow with this Budget.

"Having gone hard and early on lockdown, we've gone soft and slow on the economy.

"While lockdown was justified, we should've opened up the economy sooner to get New Zealand working again."

You can find more details on today's Budget announcement here.