Little's speech 'just a pile of slogans' - Govt

  • 23/05/2016

The Government is dismissing Labour's criticism of it's record in office as "just a pile of slogans".

Party leader Andrew Little on Sunday used a pre-budget speech to accuse National of tilting the economy in favour of the rich.

"If working New Zealanders' share of the economy hadn't shrunk under National, the average family would now be $50 a week better off," he said.

"Under the last Labour government, the share of economic growth going to wage and salary earners was over 50 percent - today it's 37 percent."

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says the data doesn't stand up to scrutiny, and under National average wages have increased from $46,500 to $57,750 - more than twice the rate of inflation.

"He's literally incorrect," Mr Joyce says.

"He's just got a pile of slogans which aren't supported by the facts... the rhetoric isn't remotely matched by reality."

In his speech ahead of Thursday's budget, Mr Little told an audience in Wellington a Labour government would deliver a budget that prioritised health and education, took "real action" on housing, and ensured that working people get their fair share of economic growth.

Mr Little didn't announce new policies in his speech, choosing instead to list what he considered to be the Government's failures and explain what Labour would do.

"We will back the hopes and aspirations of middle New Zealand and have zero tolerance for poverty," he said.

"That is what this government should do - and I will hold them to the challenge."

Mr Little said National had been in office for eight years and one thing was "blindingly obvious" - it had lost touch.

"Their priorities are all wrong. They're increasingly interested in looking after the few at the very top, and forgetting about everyone else."