National's finance spokesperson Nicola Willis slates Government's spending as inflation hits 30-year high

National's finance spokesperson Nicola Willis says the Government needs to take a disciplined approach to combat inflation by cutting its spending and providing tax relief. 

It comes as StatsNZ released its latest consumer price index (CPI) statistics showing a 6.9 percent increase for the March quarter - the largest annual increase in three decades. 

"We would take a disciplined approach to any new spending. For context, this Government has increased government spending by an additional $52 billion between 2017 and this year," Willis told Newshub Live at 8pm. 

She said National would have ministers investigating line by line ensuring the Government is getting its bang for its buck. 

"Is that money delivering more services, better outcomes? Because if it isn't, it shouldn't stand."

Willis raised questions if now is the time for the Government to spend cash on reforming New Zealand's health system. 

"Is this the time to be doing a half-billion-dollar restructure of the health system? We'd prefer to see that money going into more operations, more services, better mental health care."

When asked if that in itself would be a cut, Willis didn't answer, instead pointing to Finance Minister Grant Robertson's $6 billion new spending allocation in this year's Budget. 

"What we are saying, in this Budget the Minister is promising an additional $6 billion - that is the biggest spend up in a budget in New Zealand's history."

Willis told Newshub that National's priority is providing tax relief. 

"That's because we know how tough Kiwis are doing it right now, they're making very difficult choices every time they go to the supermarket with every bill they pay," she said.

"Our package would mean that an average income household would benefit to the tune of $1600 a year and we think that is sensible."

Willis added Robertson is offering $0 to the "squeezed middle" class unless people are receiving a Working for Families entitlement. 

Robertson said on Thursday that he wants to see what National would cut.

"There is no free lunch here, so if National is saying that, what are they going to cut?"

When Robertson was asked if he would consider trimming the $6 billion allocation for new spending, he said: "We are always careful about the way we put budgets out." 

Watch the full interview above.