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Worst Ever June-Year Deficit Says Hide

The balance of payments figures released today confirm New Zealand’s worst ever current account deficit at $7.54 billion, according to Act’s Finance spokesman, Rodney Hide.

“The continued high deficit looks like it’s here for some time. This increase is a worry given earlier forecasts were for improvement,” says Mr Hide.

“The balance of payments deficit for the year to June 1999 stood at $4.16 billion. The deficit for the year to June 2000 announced today is $7.54 billion. This is the first time a current account deficit has worsened by over $3 billion in a 12 month period.”

The bad news comes on top of the revisions earlier in the week which showed the deterioration between June 1999 and March this year was greater than earlier thought- by around $800 million.

“The Government may try and shrug this off, blaming it on the frigate. But this is ridiculous. You can not blame a $3.3 billion deterioration on a $600 million frigate.” he says. According to Mr Hide, the Government must shoulder the blame for the economy’s worsening situation. The June-year deficit for this year is 80% worse than last year’s.

“The economy should be doing great- but the government is determined to stamp out economic activity and jobs, with bad legislation, punitive taxes, and absolutely nothing to inspire investor confidence.”

“Instead of admitting their mistakes, they [the Government] simply blame the American dollar, or oil prices, or get stuck into businesses for having no confidence in the Government.”

“When people leave the country taking hundreds of millions of dollars, you hear Mr Anderton saying ‘so what?’. This is a Government that really doesn’t care if the economy goes down the toilet.”

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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