Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


PQ 2. Economic Programme—Progress

2. Economic Programme—Progress

[Sitting date: 29 July 2014. Volume:700;Page:2. Text is subject to correction.]

2. DAVID BENNETT (National - Hamilton East) to the Minister of Finance : What progress has the Government made in delivering on its economic objectives for this term of Parliament?

Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance): The Government has made good progress. That progress amounts to a significant, strong platform for further sustained growth in the New Zealand economy. For example, New Zealand’s economy grew by 3.8 percent in the year to March 2014—among the top half-dozen growth rates in the developed economies. Growth is forecast to reach 4 percent this year, a far cry from the deep domestic recession that began in 2008. This is delivering benefits to hard-working Kiwis. Average wages have increased by around $3,000 in the past 2 years to nearly $55,700. They are forecast to grow to $62,300 by 2018.

David Bennett : How are the benefits of the Government’s economic programme being reflected in the labour market, and how do average wage increases compare with cost of living changes?

Hon BILL ENGLISH : I am pleased that member and the Opposition have raised the issue of jobs. In the past year alone, 84,000 new jobs were created across New Zealand, and Treasury forecasts another 172,000 over the next 4 years. As some members of the House will recall, back in 2011 there was a forecast of 171,000 new jobs to be added by 2015. The latest household labour force survey shows we are on track to achieve those 170,000 new jobs. This will bring unemployment down to 4.4 percent by mid-2018.

David Bennett : How has the Government’s economic programme helped to address the twin fiscal and current account deficits this Government inherited 6 years ago?

Hon BILL ENGLISH : The Government has more influence over the fiscal deficit than the current account deficit, where it has an indirect influence. When we came to office the previous Government’s final Budget predicted a $3.9 billion deficit in 2008-09 and never-ending deficits into the future. The current account deficit was between 7 and 8 percent of GDP—that is, at record high levels. Since then, of course, we have got back on track. In Budget 2014 we are on track to a small fiscal surplus in this next year, and the current account deficit has narrowed to 2.8 percent of GDP in the year to March, although it is forecast to increase over the next few years.

David Bennett : How is the Government’s economic programme helping to keep interest rates lower for longer, and what reports has the Minister received suggesting New Zealanders are supporting its programme?

Hon BILL ENGLISH : There are two things the Government can do to prevent us reaching Labour’s record interest rate levels, where first mortgage rates were over 10 percent in 2008. Those two things are to restrain Government spending and to limit, as far as we can, rapid increases in the price of houses. On both of those fronts we are making considerable progress. In answer to the second part of the question, New Zealanders are supporting this programme because they are staying home rather than leaving New Zealand. There was no net loss of New Zealanders to Australia in June. That is zero net outflow to Australia for the first time since 1991

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news