When the Government publishes its budget it funds things in a four-year cycle. However, in some cases, it elects to time-limit funding.
Examples include the food in schools programme. Originally a pilot, it was given short-term funding rather than permanent.
Willis said there is a lot more of that than met the public eye.
“I have been surprised by the sheer number of Government policy programmes for which funding is due to expire.”
She's asked for advice on how much it's going to cost her.
“The sum is likely to approach many billions of dollars.” …
But during the campaign behind the scenes Labour knew they were doing this.
It was a strategy to leave fiscal booby traps to trip the Nats, and some Labour operatives were even openly boasting about it.
What this means is that Labour deliberately made the pre-election books look better than they really are, by instructing Treasury to assume that all time-limited funding would cease.
As Labour can;'t be trusted to be honest, the Public Finance Act needs to change so that Treasury clearly states what the projected surplus and debt is if all temporarily funded programmes continue.
If this had been the case, I suspect we would have been told Labour had us on a path of never getting back to surplus or paying off debt.