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Public infrastructure and service potholes under massive population pressure

CTU analysis shows multi-billion dollar widening of holes in Govt public services & infrastructure by 2028 if population keeps growing at recent rates, even before coalition's $2.4 billion of cuts
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TL;DR: A CTU analysis of Government spending and investment has found already gaping holes in promised public services and infrastructure will widen by as much as a further $22.1 billion over the next four years if the population keeps growing at recent rates, and as the new Government screws down a real spending sinking-lid even tighter.

I spoke with CTU Economist Craig Renney about the Investing in a Growing Population report released this morning. The full interview is available for all in video form above.

Here’s excerpts from the report, some key charts and a link below to download the report.

This report examines the possible real terms gap in public investment. This could occur over the next four years, if population continues to grow faster than forecast by Treasury, and government investment does not adjust.

We can calculate this figure by measuring the real per capita level of investment that the Government would need to make to maintain the per capita track set out in HYEFU 2023.

If population grows at the same rate that it did from 2013–20 (1.96% per annum), then the total public investment gap will be $10.1 billion, almost five times larger than the Government’s announced cuts.

If population continues to grow at the current rate of 2.8% per year, then the total public investment gap will be $22.1 billion, more than 10 times larger than the Government’s announced cuts. The CTU’s Investing in a Growing Population report

CTU’s Investing in a Growing Population report
CTU’s Investing in a Growing Population report
CTU’s Investing in a Growing Population report

Te Waihanga-The Infrastructure Commission has already estimated the infrastructure funding gap at $100 billion, with a further $100 billion needed to be spent if population growth is 0.5% as projected by Stats NZ to 2073. That projection rests on an assumed flat level of net migration at 25,000, every year.

This chart from its strategy document in 2022 shows how underestimates of population growth in the last 20 years have happened.

Te Waihanga 30-year strategy document

Ka kite ano

Bernard

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