Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Labour ignored its fiscal responsibilities

One of the things an incoming government needs to know is the state of the books. As per the Public Finance Act, the pre-election fiscal update is supposed to advise any items where decisions have been made that that affect the fiscal position. With regard to the ACC it is clear that the Government knew of the approximate blowout of the ACC non-earners account in May, with confirmed figures in August - before the election was called.
Craig Foss: What advice has the Minister received on the accuracy of a statement made by the Hon David Parker in respect of the non-earners account blowout not being in the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update, where he says: “Papers show that Ministers acted appropriately throughout, as the money needed had not been quantified until the election period.”?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH: The money needed was clearly identified in a report to the former Minister on 14 August, based on a PricewaterhouseCoopers valuation. A further 60-page technical report was completed by the ACC on 22 August, which confirmed those figures. The election was not called until 12 September, and the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update closing-off date was 8 September, after the previous Government had that information.

So Labour made a decision not to decide to do anything about this problem well before the Prefu deadline. As it was a decision, that decision should have been indicated in the Prefu.

We also find that the previous government have been irresponsible in Housing, with $2 billion required to address the deferred maintenance of State houses including their update to an appropriate standard.

Guess who the Minister of Housing was - none other than Maryan Street, the ACC minister and a former board member of Housing New Zealand.

What did Maryan Street actually achieve as a minister other than sleeping with the PMs chief press secretary and creating a mess while collecting a ministerial salary and perks?

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