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Where is the growth plan Mr Robertson?

Paul Goldsmith - Finance

16 September 2019

Economic growth has sharply declined under this Government and despite nearly two years in office the Minister of Finance still has no plan for growth, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“June quarter GDP stats are out on Thursday and most bank economists are predicting annual growth will barely reach 2 per cent.

“Irrespective of quarterly fluctuations, when population growth is close to 2 per cent a year it is not good enough to have total growth barely above 2 per cent. It means we are standing still on a per person basis and New Zealanders living standards are not improving.

“Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern continually claim that New Zealand’s growth remains among the fastest in the OECD. This is simply not the case.

“During the last five years under National, growth per person averaged 1.7 per cent a year - the 11th fastest in the OECD.

“Under this Government, growth per person has slowed to just 0.7 per cent - the 7th slowest in the OECD.

“The Government needs to take responsibility for the slowing economy because it has added costs to businesses and families, it has created massive uncertainty and it has demonstrated incompetence, most famously with KiwiBuild.

“The Government has been far too complacent about the sources of growth in our economy. They seem to think New Zealand is so rich we no longer need oil and gas; so rich we don’t have to look for gold; so rich we can shrink our dairy industry; so rich we can put our international education industry at risk and so rich we no longer need much foreign investment. The list goes on.

“The Government should be making it easier for businesses to grow, hire new staff, pay higher wages and invest in new technology. National has a plan to growth the economy, as outlined in our Economic Discussion Document released a few weeks ago.

“National understands that a strong economy is what puts more in the back pockets of New Zealanders and allows us to invest more in the things that matter to all of us.”

ends

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