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Xmas Grinch petrol price hike oils the wheels to surplus

Labour Leader

18 December 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Xmas Grinch petrol price hike oils the wheels to surplus

The only way that National can reach surplus in 2014-15 is to hammer Kiwi motorists by jacking up petrol prices, says Labour Leader David Shearer.

“This isn’t the Christmas present that Kiwis expected. They’re finding it hard enough to pay the bills now, let alone having to pay more for petrol to paper over the cracks in National’s books.

“National’s promise on the surplus is too big to break. It has to get there. But it’s forecast to get there with a razor-thin margin of just $66 million by cutting jobs, selling assets and raising prices at the petrol pumps.

“New Zealanders deserve better than a Government that is out of ideas and is just managing our decline.

“Our economy is stagnating with growth predictions downgraded to stay below 3% over the next few years. There are 175,000 people looking for a job. And almost the same number have left for Australia.

“In the next three years, unemployment will continue to remain high. National’s growth will not be high enough to create the jobs needed. And even those who have a job won’t be able to get ahead with wage growth expected to be lower for the next five years than it was this year.

“The disappointing outlook sums up National’s unofficial policy: managing our decline. It blames the global financial crisis for our economic woes. But the truth is we are doing worse than many countries in the developed world.

“In September 2008, our unemployment rate was the eighth best in the OECD. It has now dropped to 15th.

“National is out of ideas and has let New Zealanders down. Instead of getting stuck in, they’re standing on the side-lines.

“We are losing jobs because our exporters are struggling and as a country we’re spending much more than we’re earning. Our current account deficit is the worst in the developed world, bar Greece.

“National is refusing to change outdated economic settings like monetary policy, which currently gives primacy to inflation targets ahead of jobs and the exchange rate.

“National’s only ideas are to cut jobs and services and to sell our assets. It is putting all its hopes on the Canterbury rebuild to create growth.

“Labour will be hands-on with the focus on creating jobs and supporting businesses to get us back in the black.

“We’ve had four years of disappointment and broken promises under John Key along with rosy forecasts followed by depressing downgrades. As these forecasts show, we can’t afford four more,” said David Shearer.

© Scoop Media

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