Shane Jones is 'pretending to be Pablo Escobar'- Paul Goldsmith

Sean Plunket 27/06/2019

National's newly minted Shadow Minister for Finance Paul Goldsmith lashed out against Shane Jones' Provincial Growth Fund comparing the Minister to 'Pablo Escobar handing out rolled 20s'. 

The National Spokesperson for Finance joined Sean Plunket on Magic Afternoons to comment on the news that State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes concluded Treasury secretary Gabriel Makhlouf's handling of the Budget 'hack' saga "fell well short" of his expectations.

Sean began by asking Paul Goldsmith what his reaction to the report was? He answered that the comments made by Peter Hughes were incredibly severe and critical which he had not seen before.

I can't recall a time when anybody in his position has been so critical of a senior civil servant.

"The main point is that the criticism being leveled against the secretary is that he was ultimately responsible for keeping the budget secret and secondly rather than take responsibility he blamed everybody else," he said.

Those two criticisms could be equally applied to the Minister for Finance.

He expands on his contention with Minister for Finance Grant Robertson by explaining that "the buck stops with him".

They then moved on to Goldsmith's new role, Sean asked what might be the fundamental differences between a National Government and the current Labour lead coalition?

Paul responded that a National government would focus on growing the economy. "Ultimately Kiwis have more opportunities to succeed and fulfill their dreams in a growing economy".

Sean counters with the Government's position that they are planning to emphasise well-being as opposed to growth alone, which Paul refutes.

You can't have well-being if you're not well off.

with regard to improving economic growth Sean brought up the Provincial Growth Fund which is obvioulsly aimed at increasing economiv growth, although Goldsmith was not impressed describing it as "one part economic development and nine parts a political slush fund."

For Shane Jones to wander around the country pretending he's Pablo Escobar with a roll of 20 dollar notes handing it out to whoever he sees.

Sean couldn't believe what he heard as 'Paul Goldmsith, you just compared Shane Jones to a Colombian drug lord".

You can listen to the full interview above.