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

 


PQ 5 Economy—Export Sector Performance

5. Economy—Export Sector Performance and Government Financial Position

[Sitting date: 29 July 2014. Volume:700;Page:4. Text is subject to correction.]


5. Hon DAVID PARKER (Deputy Leader - Labour) to the Minister of Finance : Will the forecasts in the Treasury PREFU include the effects of the recent fall in the overall value of exports, including log and dairy price drops?

Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance): That will be a matter for Treasury. As the member knows, the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update is a fully independent forecast by Treasury. I am sure it will reflect a range of economic data, like 84,000 new jobs in the year to March, an increase in average weekly wages of 3.2 percent against inflation of 1.5 percent, GDP growth of 3.8 percent in the year to March, the current account deficit down to 2.8 percent, and the lowest net international investment position of 65 percent of GDP.

Hon David Parker : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I think he is finished.

Mr SPEAKER : Order! That is the second time consecutively that the member has taken the opportunity to tell me that. I will judge when an answer is going on too long. It is for me to do so, not for the member.

Hon David Parker : Is the level of exports as a percentage of GDP higher or lower now than when he took office?

Hon BILL ENGLISH : I would have to check those numbers, but, as usual, on “Planet Labour” there was no global recession, so Labour always counts the pre-recession numbers and compares them with today’s. What I can tell the member—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! On this occasion, the question now has been answered. [Interruption] Order! I have concluded the answer.

Hon David Parker : I seek leave to table a table showing that export—

Mr SPEAKER : The source of the document?

Hon David Parker : The department of statistics’ figures.

Mr SPEAKER : No, if it is the department of statistics, those figures are freely available to all members.

Hon David Parker : Given that exports have dropped as a percentage of GDP, does he now accept that National is failing to achieve its promise to raise exports as a percentage of GDP—its promise being to raise them to 40 percent of GDP by 2025—given that they have fallen from 33 percent when he took office to 29 percent now, and that the Treasury forecast shows them falling even further to just 26 percent of GDP?

Hon BILL ENGLISH : No. What I can tell the member is that in the year to June, the value of exported goods increased by 12 percent to a record high of $51.2 billion. Actually, our export sector has done a remarkably good job in the face of the stiff headwinds of a high exchange rate. New Zealanders have been able to buy more with their Kiwi dollar than ever, and exporters have continued to create jobs, make profits, and pay tax, and they should be supported for it, not criticised for it.

Hon David Parker : Why does he think that the narrowing of New Zealand’s exports towards primary products that have now collapsed in value was a good idea?

Hon BILL ENGLISH : I simply disagree with the member, but it would not surprise me if the policy of the Labour-Greens Opposition was that the dairy industry should be shut down and should not sell—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! [Interruption] Order!

Louise Upston : How does the Minister expect the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update of 2014 to compare with forecasts in Treasury’s Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update of 2008, which was delivered under the previous Government?

Hon BILL ENGLISH : The Treasury Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update under the Labour Government said this: “Households and businesses have come under increasing cost pressures—electricity, interest rates, fuel and food—which are dampening private consumption and firm profitability.” It also said: “We are now expecting weaker economic growth ... slower growth in tax revenue and higher Government expenditure. Combined with increases in the costs of some existing policies, these factors lead to sustained operating balance deficits”. I am pleased that this Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update will not say any of these things. In fact, it will say the opposite in every respect.

Hon David Parker : Given that exports have peaked and are now dropping, 147,000 people are still unemployed, wages are stagnant, homeownership rates are dropping, and severe child poverty is increasing, why does he refuse to tackle the imbalances in the economy?

Hon BILL ENGLISH : We are tackling the imbalances in the New Zealand economy, including the reference the member has made to inequality. In fact, there has been slight improvement in the measures of income equality in New Zealand.

Sue Moroney : No, there hasn’t.

Hon BILL ENGLISH : I know the Opposition does not like hearing it, but actually it is flat to better, despite the fact that we have had a major recession. We will be campaigning hard for the right to improve the performance of the economy and to improve equality in the economy.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news