Steven Joyce is still backing his claim of a gaping fiscal hole in Labour's budget, despite numerous economists saying his $11.7 billion calculation is wrong.
- Economist consensus - there's no $11.7b hole in Labour's budget
- Labour demands apology over National's 'fiscal hole' claims
The National finance spokesman told Three's The Project on Tuesday evening that nobody disagrees the opposition's numbers don't add up.
"Everybody's agreed there's a hole… the only debate is about how big it is and Labour are trying to fill it with their seven taxes," he said during a bickering match with Labour deputy finance spokesman David Clark.
But Mr Clark called that "rubbish".
"[Mr Joyce] has dug a big hole and he's thrown his credibility into it."
"Just hang on a second," Mr Joyce fired back. "Take a breath, there's still three days to go."
A Newshub-Reid research poll revealed 49 percent of New Zealanders don't believe Mr Joyce, with the other half either agreeing with him or not sure.
Mr Clark says Labour is being nothing but transparent.
"We haven't increased tax 18 times like Steven's government has done, and we didn't promise not to increase GST and then increase it like they did.
"So we're more transparent than they are and the big challenge to Steven is to lay out his account because Labour has been ridiculously transparent."
"That's not true," Mr Joyce replied.
"Seven new taxes from Labour, none from National, this whole 18 taxes thing is rubbish, it's literally not a list of taxes at all."