NZ Election 2020: National's $4 billion fiscal hole has gotten even bigger

Newshub can reveal a new error message has appeared in the National Party's fiscal planning: that irritating hole has gotten even bigger. 

On Sunday it was revealed National used the wrong numbers in calculating how much it would save from halting NZ Super Fund contributions, which resulted in a $4 billion fiscal hole. 

National Party leader Judith Collins was confident on Monday that there were no other errors in the fiscal plan and that her finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith had double-checked. 

"Paul Goldsmith has checked and he hasn't found any other mistakes and nor has anyone else," she said. 

But Newshub has. 

National has made the same mistake with its capital allowance, that's the money put aside to build things like schools and hospitals. Goldsmith took his numbers from May's Budget, giving himself $18.63 billion from next year until 2027.

But in last week's Pre-Election Fiscal Update (PREFU) the numbers changed, with only $18.542 billion available over that time, leaving National with another shortfall of $88 million. 

Collins said she trusts her finance spokesperson. 

"Yes," she said when asked on Monday. 

But Labour says you shouldn't, and Goldsmith has left his leader wide open to attack ahead of the election. 

"This is not only sloppy, this is a sign of a lack of competence," said Labour's finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. 

National said it would release a new plan with corrected figures but it still hadn't been updated by late Monday evening.

Sunday's revelation should have been a boot up the backside for National to ensure every single number was correct. But Goldsmith has failed to pick up the same basic error, and although this time it isn't in the billions, it's still significant. 

Making this mistake once might be forgivable, but twice no way - not when you're auditioning to be Finance Minister.