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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Royals: The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall To Visit

Prime Minister John Key welcomes today’s announcement that the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit New Zealand in November. This will be the second joint visit for Their Royal Highnesses to New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Tracey Martin Replaced: Ron Mark Is New New Zealand First Deputy Leader

Clayton Mitchell was the successful candidate for the Associate Whip position. Winston Peters was re-elected as Leader by the Caucus. Ron Mark was elected as the Deputy Leader with effect from 10am, Friday, 3rd July. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild Rebrand: "Regenerate Christchurch" To Replace CERA

The regeneration of Christchurch will be the city’s focus for the next five years as local leadership progressively takes control of the rebuild, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

Nauru: Scholars Urge Minister To Act On Deteriorating Democracy

“Since the 2013 election in Nauru, there has been a series of disturbing developments on the islands that indicate a severe deterioration in the state of its parliamentary democracy and in the rule of law,” say the scholars. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: NZ Begins Presidency Of UN Security Council

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the start of New Zealand’s month-long Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in New York. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news