Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Goff aims to silence Key with costings

Phil Goff. Photo / Getty Images
Phil Goff. Photo / Getty Images

Labour leader Phil Goff will attempt to silence John Key's calls to "show me the money" by providing further details today of Labour's spending and borrowing plans.

But the details are expected to provoke further debate between National and Labour, particularly over the cost of the Emissions Trading Scheme, dividends from retained state assets, early childhood education policy costs and whether money borrowed to put into the Superannuation Fund should be counted as debt or not by Labour.

Heat over the details of Labour's fiscal policy has dogged Mr Goff's campaign and came to a head in a Christchurch debate on Wednesday night when the Prime Minister repeatedly demanded details and Mr Goff could not supply them. Mr Key claimed there was a $17.2 billion hole in the accounts after four years and Mr Goff acknowledged there would be more borrowing under Labour in the short term.

Yesterday Mr Goff said there was a $2.6 billion difference between National's borrowing plans over the next three years and Labour's, which envisaged borrowing $15.6 billion extra to fund its policies.

Rejecting one of Mr Key's claims, Mr Goff said there would be no new taxes other than those already unveiled. Labour has announced a capital gains tax on property and other assets besides the family home, a tax-free threshold of $5000, and a new 39c tax rate on income over $150,000.

Labour would not sell any part of state assets. But National would fund its capital spending programme over four years from the proceeds of selling up to 49 per cent of four state-owned energy companies and a bit of Air NZ.

Mr Goff acknowledged he had been "at a disadvantage" in not being able to supply detailed answers .

Labour says it will return the accounts to surplus in the 2014-15 financial year, the same as National.

- NZ Herald

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