Paul Goldsmith, Willie Jackson point fingers at each other in fiery AM clash about economy

  • 15/03/2024

The blame game is on as the Government and Opposition point fingers at each other for New Zealand's tough economic situation.  

During a fiery AM exchange, National's Paul Goldsmith claimed former Finance Minister Grant Robertson inherited $5 billion in net debt but left the job six years later $100 billion in the red. 

But Labour MP Willie Jackson said the idea the country is worse off because of Robertson is a "load of nonsense". 

Asked by AM host Lloyd Burr if a broken economy was the legacy Labour left behind, Jackson said: "Can you stop running those... silly narratives?  

"Despite the crazy narratives from some of you media lot there, Lloyd, I believe that our Finance Minister was very responsible - I think his investment showed that. 

"We came through COVID as a country - we should be proud of the way that Grant Robertson operated and, despite the Government trying to defame him so much in the last few weeks, we've got a lot to be proud of in terms of our Finance Minister." 

Willie Jackson speaks to Lloyd Burr.
Willie Jackson speaks to Lloyd Burr. Photo credit: AM

When Burr told him to not "shoot the messenger", Jackson responded: "Don't get all sensitive, Lloyd... you're a robust bloke." 

Justice Minister Goldsmith noted there were "challenges" for the economy. 

"In certain industries, such as media and anything in terms of communication, there are big changes going on - so companies are having to adapt," he said. "But, yes, we've had a long period of high inflation and interest rates are up, and so people are feeling the squeeze - there's no question about that. 

"That's why the Government needs to be careful with spending and we also need to focus on how we can grow the economy. 

"So, yep, it's a tough period that we've got to work our way through but we are confident we can get the country turned around and the economy back on track." 

Goldsmith went on to say Robertson was a "very poor" Finance Minister - which Jackson staunchly rejected. 

"I'm just sick of the rubbish and nonsense being spouted by Goldy and yourself Lloyd." 

Watch the full video for more.