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GDP up but households not getting their fair share of it

GDP up but households not getting their fair share of it

New Zealand households facing increasing costs from rising interest rates and stagnant wage growth are not getting their fair share of economic growth, Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said today.

Figures released today by Statistics New Zealand show that Gross Domestic Product grew 1.0 percent in the March quarter and 3.3 percent in the year to March.

“Economic growth under National is only benefitting a few,” Dr Norman said.

“National’s policies of allowing housing inflation to spiral up is forcing up interest rates, putting households under enormous pressure.

“Someone with a floating mortgage of $250,000 is now paying about $1200 a year extra in interest than they did back in March, and that puts a lot of pressure on household budgets.

“Average power prices have also risen by $360 under National, while nearly half the workforce didn’t get a pay rise last year.

“People see growth but they are not getting their fair share.”

Dr Norman was also concerned with the poor quality of the economic recovery. Manufacturing growth was stagnant with the export (tradable) sector lagging the rest of the economy due, in large part, to the over-valued New Zealand dollar.

“New Zealand is the only developed country hiking interest rates right now, attracting hot money, pushing up the dollar, and undercutting our exporters,” Norman said.

“Under National, exports outside of dairy and forestry have stagnated since 2009. That’s five years of going nowhere in the value-added export sector – a sector that creates good, high wage jobs with a lower environmental impact.

“The hollowing-out of our export and manufacturing base should be a big concern to us all.

“This Government is doing nothing to lessen our dependence on commodity exports, nor is taking steps to protect the environment.

“The Green Party will ensure a more balanced approach to managing the economy and our monetary policy to help manufacturers and value-added exporters.

“We will also steer development towards smarter, greener technologies, creating good, green jobs. We will build institutions, such as the Green Investment Bank, that grow jobs while protecting the economy.

ends

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