Collins challenged on debt repayment
05 September 2020
by Chris Leitch, Leader
Social Credit Party leader Chris Leitch has challenged National Leader Judith Collins to spell out how her party intends to repay what she termed the “significant” amount of debt taken out by the Coalition Government.
In her speech to the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce on Friday she said “What is really important to us is that we do pay our bills”, so New Zealanders deserve to know how a National government will do that.
Will it raise taxes?
Will it cut benefits like it did in 1991 when Ruth Richardson was finance minister?
Will it cut spending on health and education?
While pledging to ‘pay our bills” National has announced massive spending on infrastructure in the last few weeks.
It pledged $31 billion over the next decade for transport projects like a four-lane expressway network from Whangarei in the north to Tauranga, completing the Auckland Rapid Transit network and building a second crossing across the Waitemata Harbour.
Then $4 billion to end Wellington’s congestion by building a second Mt Victoria Tunnel fixing congestion in Wellington’s CBD by under grounding State Highway 1 through Te Aro and fixing the Basin Reserve.
Hard on the heels of that, $4.8 billion for extra school buildings, $190 million for Bay of Plenty roading projects, $226 million for new mothers, $500 million for JobStart and getting the NZTA to borrow up to $1 billion a year more.
“So, Judith, tell us where the money’s coming from to pay all that back as well” Mr Leitch said, ‘If you can, then front up and debate that on television with me so people find out how”.
Collins clearly doesn’t have a clue what she is talking about, saying sarcastically in the speech “What you do is, you borrow money from yourself basically - from one arm of government to the other - and then you just write it off.
“Well if you’ve borrowed from yourself, why would you need to pay yourself back?” he queried.
But that’s not what’s happening. Instead the government is borrowing billions through the sale of bonds to banks and other financial entities and investors.
That means more than $5 billion dollars of taxpayers’ money every year will be going to pay rich investors interest on that government debt – money that should be spent on health services, solving the housing crisis by building rent to own homes, providing free dental care, reducing poverty, or a multitude of other possibilities.