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Short term Nats ignore long term deficit threat

David Parker
Spokesperson for Finance

18 December 2013

Short term Nats ignore long term deficit threat

The growing current account deficit is a serious long term threat to the economy which is being completely ignored by this short term Government, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.

“The balance of payments released today shows that the current account deficit is 4.1 per cent of GDP and our net international liabilities are $150 billion. That has a serious impact on the jobs and investment New Zealand needs to provide the opportunities and higher wages New Zealanders need.

“The current account is the deficit National refuses to talk about. Bill English and John Key repeatedly sweep these figures under the carpet. In yesterday’s HYEFU Bill English spoke a lot about Government’s deficit but he ignored the forecast that the current account deficit – the national deficit – will reach $17 billion by 2017.

“Bill English promised that he would rebalance the economy towards exports and fix the current account. He has failed.

“Ignoring the deficit is economic negligence and wastes opportunities for New Zealanders. As a country we are losing money and becoming more indebted to foreign lenders. Our interest bill and dividends paid overseas add up and the spiral continues.

“Any family that gets into too much debt understands that, eventually, you have to pay that debt off. As a country it means land and companies are sold overseas, jobs are cut and wages stagnate.

“I won’t stand for that. Labour will rebalance the economy so New Zealand is once more a country that sells more overseas than it spends. That’s the true path to a wealthy nation.

ENDS

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