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GDP doesn’t show the story of National’s New Zealand

16 June 2016

GDP doesn’t show the story of National’s New Zealand

Today’s GDP numbers fail to capture the increasing numbers of families sleeping in cars and declining water quality in our rivers and lakes, the Green Party said today.

Gross domestic product (GDP) statistics released today by Statistics New Zealand show that the economy grew by 0.7 percent in the March 2016 quarter, but only grew 0.1 percent when population increases were accounted for.

“Once increasing population pressures are factored in, the economy grew by just 0.1 percent this quarter,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“GDP as a measure isn’t capturing the other side of National’s economy: increasing numbers of people sleeping in cars and increasing amounts of carbon pollution pouring into our atmosphere.

“After eight years, National has failed to spread the benefits of economic growth fairly and decouple growth from destructive climate change.

“GDP is a bad measure of material well-being. GDP fails to measure the ongoing damage we are doing to our natural environment and our stocks of natural capital.

“We need new ways to measure New Zealand’s economic success to complement GDP.

“The Government has had eight years to develop alternative measures of economic progress yet has failed in this area completely.

“The results would show declines in the quality of many people’s lives, declines in their real income relative to the well-off, and declines in the state of our rivers and climate.

“The Greens would implement a dashboard of economic measures to complement GDP and capture more accurately the changes to our human and environmental welfare,” said Mr Shaw.


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