21 Oct 2009

Labour to blame for financial difficulties, says English

6:03 am on 21 October 2009

Finance Minister Bill English has blamed the previous Labour-led Government for a forecast doubling of public debt over the next four years.

Mr English has told Parliament that Labour mismanaged the economy and did nothing to pay back debt.

During Parliament's Question Time on Tuesday Mr English said the National Government will borrow $250 million a week for the next four years.

He says Labour is responsible for that rise in debt - which will double debt service costs to $5 billion a year, because it failed to pay back debt when in office.

But Progressive Party leader Jim Anderton asked if Labour's economic management had been so bad, why had Mr English told Radio New Zealand recently that the strong state of the public finances had helped New Zealand get through the recession.

Mr English responded that Labour's nine years in government had been a period of lost opportunity.