Monday, January 15, 2024

Willis made no complaints about the PREFU

From the day she took office, Finance Minister Nicola Willis claimed that the previous government had cooked the books and left the new coalition with a financial mess to clean up. It was a serious allegation, made all the more serious because we have institutional protections against exactly this sort of thing, in the form of the Public Finance Act and the Pre-Election Financial Update (PREFU), dating from the last time a government did this back in 1990. Essentially, Willis was claiming that the PREFU was inaccurate. But if that was the case, you'd have expected her to have raised any inaccuracies with Treasury, the agency responsible for its preparation.

So did she? I used the OIA to ask for all communications from the Minister of Finance or her office with Treasury on the accuracy of the PREFU. And surprise, surprise, there weren't any. You can draw your own conclusions about the honesty of the Finance Minister and the accuracy of her claims from that.