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

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news