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Govt’s job creation plan now located in Australia

8 October 2012

Govt’s job creation plan now located in Australia

The National Government’s credibility on job creation is at an all-time low, due to huge job losses in the manufacturing sector and record numbers of New Zealanders moving to Australia, the Green Party said today.

Green Party Co-leader, Dr Russel Norman, today hit back at the Government’s record on job creation and the high New Zealand dollar.

“Economic Development Minister, Steven Joyce, has a plan to create new jobs; unfortunately, most of them are located in Australia,” Dr Norman said.

“The National Government’s complacency over a high New Zealand dollar is killing jobs here at home and sending New Zealanders in record numbers offshore in search of work.

“Steven Joyce says New Zealand has ‘one of the strongest economies in the OECD’ and that ‘the economy has added 57,000 jobs over the last two years’.

“However, New Zealand’s economy is not performing well compared to the rest of the world.

“Since the recession ended in 2009, the average unemployment rate in the OECD has fallen slightly (0.2 percent) while it has risen here in New Zealand by 0.8 percent.

“Looking at GDP, growth in OECD countries from June 2009 to June 2012 has averaged 6.7 percent, but has been just 3 percent in New Zealand.

“Finally, we’ve already had the debate over job numbers. Statistics NZ has said the National Government is not using an appropriate measure of job creation. According to them, 452,000 jobs were created between 2008 and 2011 while 465,000 were lost.

“This is not a job creation record to be proud of.”

The National Government have been promising to rebalance the New Zealand economy from debt and consumption to investment and exports since their first Budget in 2009.

“Under National’s economic leadership, the New Zealand dollar has reached record high levels, tens of thousands of jobs have been lost in the manufacturing sector, the current account deficit is high and widening, and overseas debt is increasing,” Dr Norman said.

"If we want a smart economy that can pay its way in the world, we are going to need to address our high and highly volatile exchange rate.

“The International Monetary Fund says the New Zealand dollar is 15% over-valued while exporters say the dollar is the number one barrier they face to grow their exports.

“Part of the solution to protecting jobs here in New Zealand has to include strategies to lower the New Zealand dollar.”

The Green Party are proposing to address the high exchange rate by giving the Reserve Bank a broader mandate to enable them to lower Official Cash Rate (OCR), manage asset bubbles, and allow them to create credit to fund the rebuilding of Christchurch and purchase assets offshore to restock the Natural Disaster Fund.

Link to Statistics New Zealand table on the barriers exporters face: http://www.greens.org.nz/misc-documents/barriers-generating-overseas-income-statistics-new-zealand-data-2007-2011

ENDS

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