Just Joyce? Fiscal hole claim wears thin

2:49 pm on 7 September 2017

Opinion - Cartoonist Toby Morris gives his take on National Party finance spokesperson Steven Joyce's claims about Labour's finances and the reaction so far.

Mr Joyce accused his opponents of an $11.7 billion "fiscal hole" in their budget plan on Monday and later adjusted his attack, saying Labour had failed to leave room for increased spending in areas beyond health and education.

During this morning's finance debate on Morning Report, Labour's spokesperson Grant Robertson called it a "disgraceful" allegation that "not one person in New Zealand" backed up.

Mr Joyce defended his initial claim, though he declined to name any of those he said backed it, and said Labour had since changed its figures.

Several economists have said his numbers were wrong, though one agreed with him that it would be a challenge for Labour to govern within its budget.

Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern said Mr Joyce was digging himself into a hole and her advice was to "just put the spade down".

Toby Morris is an Auckland-based illustrator and comic artist. He is the creator of The Pencilsword on The Wireless and also half of the Toby & Toby duo at rnz.co.nz.

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