21 May 2024

Household costs the main priority for Labour's finance spokesperson

7:46 am on 21 May 2024
Barbara Edmonds at announcement of Finance role for Labour

Labour's finance spokesperson Barbara Edmonds says the government's budget announcements include "smoke and mirrors". Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

The Labour Party's finance spokesperson has set out her portfolio priorities, with household costs at the top of her list.

Barbara Edmonds gave a pre-budget speech to business leaders at the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce this morning.

She used the scene-setter talk to share her personal story, economic and political values and priorities.

Household costs, a level playing field for small to medium businesses, climate change and adaptation and infrastructure would be her focus areas, she said.

The MP did not shed any light on her party's approach to tax reform, explicitly saying: "I do not have a juicy soundbite on wealth tax or a capital gains tax."

Edmonds was also critical of the coalition government's public spending cuts, proposed tax cuts and Budget Day promises.

"What you will see on Budget Day are big numbers. But I ask you to be aware of the smoke and mirrors.

"Is it really a meaningful budget increase or just what was set aside by the previous Labour government bundled together to make it look big, plus a little bit more that doesn't even meet inflation?"

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