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Financial update confirms Government happy to just drift

Grant Robertson
MP for Wellington Central
Finance Spokesperson


23 August 2017

Financial update confirms Government happy to just drift

The Government accounts revealed in today’s Pre-Election Fiscal Update (PREFU) show a National Party drifting along as economic growth stalls and productivity stays flat, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“Growth in our economy is being propped up by rapid population increase and Kiwis working longer and longer hours. That is not sustainable. We can do better than this. We need a government that does more than drift along, but has the drive to lift productivity and wages.

“The Pre-Election Fiscal Update shows lower per person growth and lower productivity than expected over the next three years. Exports are static. In this year, Kiwis’ wages will not keep up with inflation. Overall, wages as a share of the economy are projected to fall. We are falling behind other countries; our unemployment rate is now higher than the UK and the US.

“Once again, while the top line numbers might look healthy, just below the surface this is an economy that is not sustainable and is not giving all Kiwis a fair share in prosperity.

“Labour’s plan for the economy is built around building decent jobs with higher wages. We know that the key to doing this is lifting the skills of our workforce, investing in research and innovation and supporting our cities and regions to grow.

“The update also shows National cutting $600m of capital investment this year, including a $200m cut to the City Rail Link. This shows a lack of commitment to the modern transport infrastructure required to allow our largest city to grow.

“With the housing sector forecast to stall, well below the numbers of new houses we need, and exports are falling as a share of the economy, National’s lack of a plan is laid out in black and white.

“Labour has been clear through our Budget Responsibility Rules and our Fiscal Plan that we will manage the economy responsibly, while making the investments that are urgently needed in health, housing, education and lifting children out of poverty.

“There is much to do to build a better New Zealand, and that must be our priority. Now is not the time for tax cuts that give hundreds of millions of dollars to the wealthiest New Zealanders,” says Grant Robertson.


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