Paula Bennett denies 'mistake' in false claim about Labour's budget

Paula Bennett has maintained there is in fact a hole in Labour's budget - despite leading economists saying that's not the case.

In The Spinoff Great Debate on Wednesday night, National's deputy leader was asked whether finance spokesperson Steven Joyce should resign over his claims Labour had a $11.7 billion hole in its fiscal plan.

"No, I don't [think he made a mistake]," she said.

"I think there is a hole, we're hearing changing stories from the Labour Party, and I think that's where that sits."

National first made the claim ahead of Monday's Newshub Leaders Debate, saying Labour made an error in its costings and leaving a $11.7 billion hole in its planned spending.

However it's been strongly denied by Labour and finance spokesperson Grant Robertson has demanded an apology.

On Tuesday, Newshub spoke to eight different economists. All agreed there is no hole in the plan.

Ms Bennett's comments on Wednesday are a striking contrast to Mr Robertson's, who's accusing Mr Joyce of having "actively misled New Zealanders in a desperate and disingenuous hit job".

Watch the livestream of The Spinoff Great Debate below - app and mobile users, click here.

Newshub.

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