Finance Minister complacent about NZ’s growth

Published: Fri 22 Nov 2019 11:01 AM
Paul Goldsmith - Finance
22 November 2019
Rather than congratulating himself on New Zealand’s modest economic growth, Grant Robertson should be honest about why we’re missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.
“New Zealand should be doing very well right now. Our export prices are at historically high levels, interest rates are low and the Government inherited big surpluses.
“What Grant Robertson fails to mention is that about three quarters of New Zealand’s economic growth is driven by population growth, not productivity improvements.
“Our growth per person, which is the true measure of the progress we are making as a country, is currently only 0.5 per cent. That is well behind most of the OECD.
“What’s worse, business investment has fallen from 5 per cent a year under National to just 0.6 per cent under Labour, job growth has fallen from around 10,000 new jobs a month under National to just 3,000 under Labour and there are 22,000 more people on the dole.
“National has higher aspirations for New Zealand. We want to see Kiwis better off. Muddling along at 0.5 per cent growth per person is nothing to crow about.
“Business is in a funk in this country, primarily because they lack confidence in this Government’s economic policies – policies that have driven up costs and created massive uncertainty. They’re also disheartened by this Government’s lack of delivery.
“If National is elected in 2020 we’ll stop the excuses and get on with implementing our positive economic plan to restore business confidence and revive the economy.”

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