National Party media release:

Budget 2023 shows why New Zealand needs a change of direction and a change of government this year, National Leader Christopher Luxon says.

“Finance Minister Grant Robertson promised a bread-and-butter Budget. What he delivered was a spending spree creating a massive increase in deficits and debt climbing for years to come.

“This is the Blowout Budget, the culmination of Grant Robertson’s massive spending spree as Finance Minister for six years.

“Mr Robertson has blown his own spending limits for the sixth budget in a row.

“The deficit has blown-out to $7.6 billion – a whopping $7.1 billion increase. The return to surplus has been delayed.

“Operating spending has blown-out to $137 billion this year, up $61 billion since Labour entered office.

“And debt has blown-out to $95 billion by 2026.

“Kiwis are already paying the price for Mr Robertson’s addiction to spending – and now Treasury confirms Mr Robertson’s spending will mean interest rates are higher for longer, meaning Kiwis will pay for years to come when they refix their mortgages.

“Mr Robertson should have adjusted tax brackets for inflation to provide relief for hard working Kiwis. But yet again, Labour has refused to do the right thing – instead deciding that they can spend taxpayers’ money better than Kiwis.

“New Zealanders hoped today for some relief from the tough conditions that Labour’s economic mismanagement has produced. What they will get is cheaper bus rides for those who qualify, but still nothing for the majority of hard-working New Zealanders.

“National knows we need to fix the economy to lift incomes and afford the public services Kiwis deserve – but Labour’s only plan is to spend.

“A National government will fix the economy, end wasteful spending and deliver meaningful tax relief for hard working Kiwis.”