Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Balance of Payments deficit - consider tariffs

Any Government is going to have to look seriously at the use of tariffs to address New Zealand's serious chronic balance of payments deficit, Alliance leader Jim Anderton said today.

He says tariffs need to be complemented by improved monetary policy and a Government led investment to strengthen the tradeable sector and diversify the export base.

New official figures show a balance of payments deficit for the year to March of $6.374 billion, or 6.4% of GDP. The balance of payments is the difference between the amount New Zealand earned overseas last year and the amount it spent.

After two full years running a current account deficit in excess of 6% of GDP, Jim Anderton says the climate for the use of tariff policy is changing.

"No one can seriously believe that overseas deficits of this size are sustainable. The deficit is so large and so intractable that it restrains economic growth. The economy can't pick up quickly without sucking in imports, which in turn worsens the deficit and slows growth.

"Forget the intellectually vacuous argument about an open or closed economy that has surrounded tariff debate previously. We need to look at the merits of adjusting the price at which our economy engages with the rest of the world as a way of restraining the deficit. New Zealand has stripped away protection much faster than other countries, and as the lamb dispute with the US shows, we are not reaping benefits.



"Tariffs alone will never be enough, of course. One of the biggest problems is that we are still far too dependent on commodity exports and world prices for commodities are declining.

"New Zealand's export base needs to be diversified - we urgently need job rich new industries in high-value new technology industries. The market has performed very poorly in providing the capital those industries need. Only a Government-led programme, in partnership with the private sector, will work. That's what most developed countries do and it's one reason they don't have chronic deficits."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Environment Aotearoa 2019: Report Warns Environment In Serious Trouble

The report is jointly produced by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand, and is a follow on from the last report in 2015.

The report says the way New Zealanders live and make a living is having a serious impact on the environment, and the benefits New Zealanders get from being in nature, though not measured or quantified, could be lost. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Scrapping The Capital Gains Tax

As PM Jacinda Arden said yesterday, there was no point in Labour bringing a proposal into the House that it didn’t have the votes to get passed. Looking back, maybe she always felt this outcome to be inevitable... More>>

ALSO:

Welfare: Access To Hardship Grants Hits Record High

Figures from the Ministry of Social Development for the March 2019 Quarter showed that hardship assistance grants increased by $48 million in the past year... They also showed the emergency housing grants went from $6.6m to $23m, and there were 70,000 extra requests for assistance for food. More>>

ALSO:

City Rail Link: Billion Dollar Cost Rise (And Preferred Bidder)

The revised cost envelope for completing the entire Auckland City Rail Link project now totals $4.419 billion. The revised cost has yet to be endorsed by the project’s sponsors (the Crown and Auckland Council). More>>

ALSO:

Meth Scare: Debt Write-Off For HNZ Meth Testing Evictions

People living in Housing New Zealand (HNZ) properties who were wrongly evicted because of flawed methamphetamine contamination policies will have their related debts with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) written off. More>>

ALSO:

RNZ Report: Fears Grow For NZ Nurse Kidnapped In Syria

A New Zealand nurse working for the Red Cross was captured by Islamic State (IS) in Syria more than five years ago, and there are now public pleas for any information that could help bring her home. More>>

ALSO:

Streets Blocked In London: Climate 'Extinction Rebellion' Reaches Aotearoa

Across the world, thousands of people are taking part in a rebellion to avert climate, ecological and human catastrophe. This begins in Aotearoa New Zealand today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels