Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

BOP deficit won't improve until we tackle imports

24 March 2000

BOP deficit won't improve until we tackle imports

The Green Party today disagreed with Finance Minister Michael Cullen's assessment of the latest balance of payments deficit, saying it won't improve until the government tackles uncontrolled growth in imports.

Statistics New Zealand today announced a December year balance of payments deficit of $8.163 billion. February merchandise trade figures, also announced today, revealed an annual deficit of $3.383 billion.

"Based on the latest trade figures, Dr Cullen has got it wrong if he thinks our balance of payments situation is going to get better," Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald said.

"While the Te Mana frigate won't appear in the March quarter BOP, the trade figures show a continuing deterioration as the gap between imports and exports widens.

"Dr Cullen is quick to quote export growth of 22.5 per cent in the month of February but conveniently ignores that imports jumped by 25.3 per cent in the same period. More significantly, exports increased by only 7.8 per cent in the year to February while imports shot up by 16.4 per cent.

"The February trade deficit of $3.383 billion is three times New Zealand's worst previous deficit (1985, $1.096 billion; 1975, $1.066 billion) and our second worst as a percentage of GDP (2000, 3.3 per cent est; 1985, 2.8 per cent; 1975, 11.0 per cent).

"While the low New Zealand dollar has increased earnings from tourism, it certainly hasn't quelled our thirst for imported consumer goods.

"Imports of consumption goods have jumped 28 per cent over last February and have increased 35 per cent, or $1.75 billion over the last four years.

"That increase alone represents 35,000 lost jobs as we increasingly import everyday goods which we used to make ourselves.

"Dr Cullen is right that we need to save more and reduce our dependence on overseas borrowing. He also needs to face the fact that unless New Zealanders buy more locally-made goods and reduce our dependence on imported products we will continue to run large trade deficits which flow through to the balance of payments deficit.

"We urge the Labour-Alliance Government to ditch National's fixation with free trade and adopt a 'buy local' strategy, both to get the trade balance back into the black, and to create much-needed jobs in New Zealand," he said.

Ends

Contact Rod Donald: 025 507 183


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods (is the dollar up or down?) the outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Submissions Summary: The People's Commission On Public Media

This Summary is a preliminary report from the People’s Commission. It brings together views and aspirations of the hundreds of people who made submissions, attended public meetings, filled out the online survey and made speeches to our Panel. More>>

Housing Plans: Protest Over Ihumatao Development

Ihumatao in Mangere, next to the airport in Auckland, holds the archaeological remains of 1000 years of food production; from when Maori first landed in the area, through to early European settler agriculture and right up until today. More>>

ALSO:

Negotiations: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word.. More>>

ALSO:

Contains Highly Colloquial Language: Your F**king Guide To Government Formation

The following message is in no way endorsed by the Electoral Commission. They are f**king done with this election. More>>

NZ Emissions Up 50% 1990-2013: Report Confirms CLimate Change Impacting NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: Inland Revenue Steps Back From Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election