ACT backs AG’s call for greater accountability of COVID spending

Thu, 05 May, 2022

“ACT is supporting the Auditor-General’s request for the Government to properly front up to taxpayers about their relentless spending of the COVID-19 slush fund,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

In a letter to Treasury Chief Executive Caralee McLiesh dated 4 May 2022, the AG expressed concerns about the accountability for spending of the fund, citing the immense scale of the fund, the extraordinary decisions being made, and the massive implications on public debt for years to come.

“Billions and billions of taxpayer dollars have been dished out under the pretence of ‘COVID related spending’. In reality it is nothing but a slush fund for Labour’s ideological pet projects and has contributed to a domino effect of domestic inflation that is making Kiwi’s poorer.

“$515 million on school lunches, $26.6 million for cameras on fishing boats and the day we went into lockdown it announced $17.1 million from the fund for ‘creative spaces to support participation in the arts.’

“The Government has never bothered to explain how the COVID fund related to COVID, they have just treated it as their pet project slush fund.

“While New Zealanders are having to cut their budgets left, right and centre, Labour has taken an extra $2,138 in tax from the average New Zealander which is being blown on whatever project they can find.

“ACT stands for real change, that would include dumping the bright-line capital gains tax completely, giving a $2,000 tax cut to someone on the average wage, scrapping the 39 per cent envy tax, and restoring interest deductibility.

“Hardworking New Zealanders are making the tough decisions to stay afloat. It’s time the Government supported them and did the same.”