Monday, May 20, 2024

Luxon vows National will restore fiscal discipline

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National Party leader and Botany MP Christopher Luxon speaking in Parliament. File photo supplied

A National Government will restore fiscal discipline, end Labour’s “wasteful spending” and deliver clear reporting of public finances, party leader and Botany MP Christopher Luxon says.

With just five months until this year’s general election on October 14, he says he won’t put up with pouring more money into broken programmes that don’t work when the country needs more funding for frontline services such as schools and hospitals.

Luxon made the announcement during a pre-Budget speech to the Auckland Business Chamber on May 15.

He says a National Government he leads will introduce three initiatives to boost fiscal discipline.

It will require the Treasury to report annually on the performance of major programmes to show whether they’re achieving results.

Inland Revenue will be required to issue every taxpayer a ‘Taxpayer’s Receipt’ showing the taxes they paid and Government payments received including for Working for Families and benefit payments.

The receipt will break down where taxpayer’s money has been spent and on what sectors.

And public sector chief executives and their deputies will have their pay linked to achievement to encourage high performance and ensure accountability.

“Not content with taxing, borrowing, and spending billions of dollars more on taxpayers’ behalf, this Labour Government has abandoned any pretence of transparency or performance,” Luxon says.

“Agencies should monitor programmes, collect data, and measure performance.

“The Auditor General has raised this consistently and been calling for it for some time now.”

Luxon says National Government ministers will face public scrutiny for how well different programmes are working.

“It’s taxpayers’ money and we all deserve to know what it’s being spent on but unless you’ve worked in the machine in Wellington, or have trained for years in accounting or economics, it’s impossible to work out how much money the Government spends, and where it all goes.

“That’s why a Government I lead will introduce new requirements for clear financial reporting to taxpayers.”

Working Kiwis will receive a taxpayer’s receipt each year and Treasury will produce an annual Report Card for Taxpayers to clearly show Government spending and tax, Luxon says.

“Thirdly, National will ensure the most senior public servants have part of their base pay determined by performance.

“Labour scrapped this in 2018, with [Prime Minister] Chris Hipkins arguing it would improve public sector performance. Instead, it’s been hollowed out.

“We must get New Zealand’s economic engine humming again and these initiatives will be part of restoring fiscal discipline that taxpayers deserve, and the economy needs.”

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