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Simply too red

14 June 1999

"The latest debt figures are alarming and under current economic policies can only get worse," Labour finance spokesperson Michael Cullen said today.

The statistics show that New Zealand owes $101.9 billion overseas. This is more than the gross domestic product in the March, 1999 year and three times bigger than the country's total exports.

"It makes a credit downgrade all but inevitable.

"And the expected deterioration in the balance of payments deficit is likely to push us even further into the red.

"To restore the position, New Zealand has to improve its export receipts.

"Labour recognises this and will make it a top priority in government through the implementation of our industry development policy and by investing in education and skills training to encourage the shift to a knowledge-based economy," Dr Cullen said.

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