15 Nov 2017

'It will be possible for us to meet our goals' - Robertson

6:00 pm on 15 November 2017

Suggestions by ANZ economists that the new Labour-led government will have to borrow billions more than expected to meet its spending promises are being brushed off by the Finance Minister.

Labour Party finance spokesman Grant Robertson sets out Labour's tax plans 14 September 2017.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

During the election, Labour said it would borrow about $11 billion dollars more than National had pledged, while still reducing the country's debt to 20 percent of GDP by 2022.

But in a note published last week, the country's biggest trading bank ANZ warned the government was likely to have to borrow another $3 billion on top of that to pay for commitments, including KiwiBuild and restarting contributions towards to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

"Net debt looks set to remain static around 23-24 percent of GDP as opposed to decline. We still expect solid operating surpluses to be achieved but a lot hinges on the economy performing solidly," wrote ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie.

But Finance Minister Grant Robertson said he disagreed with ANZ's view.

"I have received a range of official reports, all of which show that it will be possible for us to meet our goals within our budget responsibility rules," he said.

That included the goal of reducing debt to 20 percent of GDP by 2022, he added.

More details of the government's budget would be revealed in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update that was due out before Christmas, Mr Robertson said.

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