2 Oct 2020

Labour's Grant Robertson on party's economic plan

9:48 am on 2 October 2020

Labour's finance spokesperson Grant Robertson spoke to RNZ Nine to Noon's Kathryn Ryan about his party's economic plan should it be elected.

Robertson has been promoting his party as the responsible economic manager - a space the National Party has traditionally occupied - saying they will offer a steady hand in the difficult economic times brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He released a fiscal policy yesterday, with little change from the Treasury's pre-economic and fiscal update (PREFU) apart from the party's already announced new top rate of 39 percent on earnings over $180,000.

It followed weeks of National criticising Labour for not having a plan, and contained a typo showing debt in dollar terms rather than as a percentage of GDP, a difference of about $140 billion.

National - which has faced criticism after conceding its own plan contained two errors totalling about $4bn and denied claims of another error bringing the total to about $8bn - pounced on the Labour typo, saying it "shows just how little Labour cares about the debt they're burdening future generations with".

Labour's error is embarrassing, but does not change its calculations. Robertson's office released a corrected version less than an hour after the initial release.

The party yesterday also announced plans to undertake market studies of groceries and housing supplies with the aim of ensuring fair cost of living. They would be similar to the fuel market study which cost about $2.5m and led to a law requiring the sector to advertise wholesale pricing.

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