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Where are the jobs, Mr Jones?

Where are the jobs, Mr Jones?

Halfway through the Government’s term we still can’t get a straight answer from Shane Jones on how many jobs have been created from the $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund, National’s Regional Economic Development spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“Mr Jones went on national television to claim 562 actual jobs were generated by the $3 billion slush fund. He insisted none of them were contractors but the figures – extracted at length from his office – tell a different story. His tally includes at least 405 contractors and 200 of the jobs were short term and no longer exist.

“The one straight answer we’ve had from the Provincial Development Unit (PDU) shows that with a third of the projects counted just six permanent, sustained jobs had been created by the end of January. The Provincial Development Unit is shamefully refusing to release the full count, but indications are it could be even fewer than the 54 jobs we counted in February.

“This comes at a time when new jobs right across the economy are drying up. The 10,000-new-jobs-a-month boom under the last two years of National has shrivelled to a rate of 4000 a month under this government. In the past three months New Zealand actually lost jobs.

“This is powerful reminder that new jobs are created not by political slush funds but by the private sector responding to sound economic policies.

“Mr Jones and the PDU continue to hide the real information about what Kiwis are getting for all the money spent by Mr Jones, with frequent changes to the public data on its website. It now refers to ‘potential jobs that may be created’ having previously called them actual jobs.

“The feedback round the country is that Shane Jones is quick with a big announcement and very slow with the actual money. If he paid as much attention to competent delivery of useful projects as he did to PR and big announcements with hi-vis jackets, the regions would see more progress.

“The bogus job claims are yet another example of this Government’s lack of transparency and openness.

“We want our regions to prosper because what is good for our communities is good for New Zealand’s economic wellbeing. We need a productive, growing economy to meet the needs of all New Zealanders. National has a proven track record as competent economic managers.”

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