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Stronger economic growth means more social service

Stronger economic growth means more social services

One per cent additional economic growth annually over the last 30 years would have meant that New Zealand would currently have a higher per capita income than Australia.

Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton today called for higher levels of investment in business, from both within and outside of New Zealand to create a stronger economy which could better fund essential social services such as health and education.

Speaking at Investment New Zealand’s Regatta in Auckland Jim Anderton said that investment is a crucial issue for New Zealand’s economic future as it allows business to commercialise their innovation as well as bringing international expertise and technology to New Zealand. Stronger businesses would mean a stronger economy which can deliver a higher level of social services.

“I asked the Ministry for Economic Development, to calculate the benefit to New Zealand if we had had an additional one per cent growth per year since 1970.

“In 1970 we were ranked 9th in per capita income in OECD countries, on a par with Australia. Australia is now ranked 12th while we are currently 20th.

“Treasury has already noted that in 1990 Australia’s GDP was only 5 per cent ahead of New Zealand’s and now it is 40 per cent higher. This demonstrates that the 1990s were a wasted decade for economic development in New Zealand.

“That additional one per cent growth per year would have had us ahead of Australia right now and better able to afford significant increases in funding for essential social services such as health and education as well as increased investment in economic infrastructure, industry, regional and economic development.

“That is why this last three years of economic growth is of such importance.

“As the Minister for Economic, Industry and Regional Development I can promise you I am doing whatever I can to ensure that our business environment supports sustainable economic development in New Zealand,” said Jim Anderton.

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