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Back to the future as job crisis deepens

Economic Development Spokesperson

7 September 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Back to the future as job crisis deepens

As hundreds more New Zealanders were thrown on the unemployment scrapheap this week the National Government has dug itself deeper into the failed policies of the past, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Cunliffe says.

“It’s been a dreadful week on the employment front with another 600 Kiwis losing their jobs.

“Now figures out today show that wholesale trade is down 1.4 per cent, with the largest decline in basic grocery items. This shows that even in-work families are worried about their livelihoods and are cutting back on absolute basics.

“Manufacturing confidence has turned sharply negative with both domestic and export sales in decline, and Kiwi jobs in the sector cut 1.4 per cent from a year ago.

“Regional centres like Kawarau have been savaged by National’s failed economic policies for years, and now it seems many more locals will be out of work as Norske Skog halves newsprint production in the town.

“Jobs are clearly still under threat at Solid Energy, while Tiwai Point is also shedding staff, with potentially devastating consequences for Southland.

“Meanwhile the property market in Auckland is back on the tax loophole-driven rollercoaster, with double-digit price increases over the last year locking more young New Zealanders out of homes and syphoning capital away from job-creating businesses.

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“How bad does it have to get before the Government wakes up?

“Just this morning Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce claimed ‘we are not seeing growth in unemployment’. He must be blind. The Household Labour Force Survey is crystal clear that employment has gone up.

“The National Government promised a brighter future, but nothing has changed from their hands-off-and-hope approach of the early 1990s. They have no economic policy beyond tax cuts and salary increases for the wealthy, and wishful thinking about commodity prices in milk powder and raw logs.

“It is now absolutely urgent that the Government changes direction and adopts Labour’s clean, green and clever strategic plan for jobs. If Bill English and his mates won’t change, then New Zealanders must change their Government,” said David Cunliffe.

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