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Business confidence lowest in a decade

Paul Goldsmith - Finance

2 July 2019

The NZIER quarterly survey of business opinion has fallen yet again to the lowest point in ten years because the Government has no plan to grow the economy, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“There has been a sharp decline in the New Zealand economy under this Government. Growth has decreased from 4 per cent down to 2.5 per cent, per-person growth is seventh worst in the OECD, jobs are in decline and business investment has fallen from 5 per cent a year under National to just 0.6 per cent under Labour.

“Business confidence is now as low as it was in the depths of the Global Financial Crisis. This means businesses are less likely to invest or hire new staff.

“Despite a historically high terms of trade and rising exports, Finance Minister Grant Robertson has repeatedly tried to blame the domestic slowdown on global conditions.

“The Minister of Finance needs to take responsibility for the role the Government’s policies have played in slowing New Zealand down, especially when Westpac stated last week that New Zealand’s economic slowdown can be ‘put down largely to domestic factors’.”

The Government has crippled investment by:

· introducing over 250 working groups including the prospect of a Capital Gains Tax;

· introducing more union-friendly industrial laws;

· banning new oil and gas exploration;

· stopping gold mining in Waihi; and

· wasting billions on failed policies like fees-free and Shane Jones’ slush fund

“The Government has failed to deliver on infrastructure. It hasn’t built a single new road, yet it has cancelled, delayed or gutted a dozen major transport projects.

“A strong economy is what pays for investment in health, education and infrastructure. This Government needs to stop taking economic growth for granted and dial back its anti-growth agenda, while getting on with delivering the infrastructure this country needs.”

ends

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