Now that the COVID fund has been topped up by $ 7 billion, Seymour and Woodhouse are urging Robertson to spend the money only on coronavirus issues.
âCOVID-related spending would include things like the wage subsidy and the resurgence payment. It wouldn’t include things like cameras on fishing boats, the Te Papa Spirit collection and ballet,â Seymour said.
“This money comes from taxpayers and it needs to be paid back. Businesses that have been forced to shut down and operate under tight conditions are calling for support. It’s time for Robertson to set his priorities.”
Woodhouse said Robertson should be “responsible” with his larger fiscal space due to lower than expected deficits and debt, as well as positive GDP growth.
“But, rather than do what a responsible government would do and accumulate these gains as a buffer against other shocks, the government would rather leave more debt to the younger generations to repay than is necessary.”
Robertson appears confident the economy will continue to be strong despite the uncertainty and disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
âExcluding the September 2020 quarter, this is the strongest quarterly growth we’ve seen since 1999,â said Robertson, highlighting âdynamicâ household spending, a booming construction sector and levels promising investment.
“This bodes well as we come out of lockdown. It shows that our science and health driven plan has continued to work for the economy.”
New Zealand’s quarterly growth of 2.8% was better than that of almost all of our close allies except the UK which grew further, up 4.8%, reversing recent declines in activity.
Australia increased 0.7 percent, the United States 1.6 percent and Japan 0.5 percent, while Canada declined 0.3 percent.
Delta’s latest outbreak in New Zealand will be a blow to the economy, especially with Auckland under tight lockdown for more than a month. But if all goes according to plan and Delta is eliminated, the most successful Alert Level 1 will soften the blow.
And with the increase in vaccinations, the government is looking for ways to slowly open up to the world again starting next year.