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


NZIER's confidence comforting - but justified?

2000 web site
"Let's hope the NZIER's confidence that the economy will come out of the current "flat patch" and regain momentum next year proves correct. But this is far from guaranteed," Labour finance spokesperson Michael Cullen said today.

Dr Cullen was commenting on the release this morning of the NZIER's latest set of quarterly predictions. The Institute is forecasting real GDP growth of 3 percent in the year to March, 2000 rising to 4 percent the following year.

"The forecasts will no doubt be seized on shamelessly by the Government as a vindication of its economic policies. In anticipation of the usual chest-beating, I would point out that the growth foreshadowed by the NZIER is essentially cyclical and reflects a strengthening world economy rather than any specific New Zealand or Government initiative.

"Labour remains sceptical about how quickly the recovery will flow through to the export sector. And the NZIER itself acknowledges that part of the reason why its growth forecasts look high is that they are coming off a very low base," Dr Cullen said.

The NZIER report includes a discussion of the policy implications of a change of Government.

"Clearly the NZIER continues to believe that New Zealand's economic problems will self-correct and that the only role for government is to stand on the sidelines and watch the market perform its magic. It can hold to this belief only by resolutely ignoring the evidence of the past few years.

"The weakness in New Zealand's external accounts, and the NZIER's own forecast that the balance of payments deficit will balloon out to over 7 percent of GDP, point to several structural flaws.

"The Institute is right to identify the need to increase national savings. Labour's policy to partially pre-fund the future costs of New Zealand Superannuation through a dedicated tax taken from existing taxation is our response to that challenge.

"But we have no intention of following the Institute's advice and redesigning our scheme to include individual accounts and participation by the private sector. We reject it for the same reasons we rejected Winston Peters compulsory super' model - because it would lead to increased costs and would be less equitable.

"As to the Institute's concern at the dangers of having a "large centralised fund under direct control of government," I can only sigh and once again invite them to actually read our policy.

"If they did, they would know that the fund will be managed by a independent board and that there will be a legal requirement that the money in the fund can be used only for superannuation payments," Dr Cullen said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Hong Kong Protest Movement

Nearly ten weeks after the huge Hong Kong protests began, managing to still get 1.7 million people onto the streets in the rain is a testament to how strong the pro-democracy movement has become...

The pro-democracy protests enjoy huge support among Hong Kong’s youth, partly because the democratic systems currently at risk have only a limited time span. More>>



Welfare: More Measures To Help Those Facing Homelessness

Ministers have announced $54 million in Government funding for initiatives which will support at-risk individuals and whānau to stay in their existing tenancies. The funding will also provide additional wrap around services. More>>


Corrections: New Strategy On Māori Reoffending And imprisonment

Authentic co-design with Māori, incorporating a Te Ao Māori worldview, and greater connectedness with whānau are key elements of Hōkai Rangi, Corrections’ new departmental strategy designed to address the long-term challenge of Māori reoffending and imprisonment. More>>


Pacific Island Forum: Australia v Everyone Else On Climate Action

Traditionally, communiques capture the consensus reached at the meeting. In this case, the division on display between Australia and the Pacific meant the only commitment is to commission yet another report into what action needs to be taken. More>>


Unscoped Or Missed Damage: Resolution For Canterbury Owners Of On-Sold Homes

People with over-cap on-sold* properties in Canterbury can now apply for a Government payment so they can get on and repair their homes. More>>


Hamilton-Auckland: First Urban Growth Partnership Signed

New Zealand’s first urban growth partnership between the Government, local councils and mana whenua was signed at a meeting of mayors, chairs and ministers in Hampton Downs today. More>>


Vote On Action Next Week: Secondary Principals Walk From Negotiations

“Unfortunately we consider there is no further value in continuing negotiations at this point. The government has not been able to table an offer that will be acceptable to our members.” More>>

Patrol Car Stolen, Glocks Taken: Manhunt In Gore

The driver rammed the patrol car before fleeing on foot with Police chasing, also on foot. The man has then circled back around, stolen the patrol vehicle, which had the keys left in it, and rammed another Police car... Two Police-issued Glock pistols were stolen. More>>





InfoPages News Channels