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.


Contact Rod Donald: 025 507 183

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>


Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>


No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>


Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>


Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>


Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels