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Slow-growth policies undermining financial stability

The Government’s slow-growth policies are undermining New Zealand’s financial stability, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“Slower growth is contributing to the need for lower interest rates, and as the Reserve Bank makes clear today, lower interest rates risk fuelling asset price bubbles.

“The Reserve Bank has warned today in its Financial Stability Report that low interest rates, which are designed to stimulate a slow economy, may reignite risky house borrowing and investors may seek out riskier investments in search for yield.

“Under this Government, GDP growth has fallen to just 2.1 per cent a year, per person growth is only 0.5 per cent, business investment has stalled and the number of people on the dole has risen by 22,000.

“Today we’ve had yet another growth downgrade by NZIER – further evidence that the Government has no plan to revive the economy.

“Global growth has slowed, but it is also the case that New Zealand’s export prices are at historically high levels. We should be growing faster.

“The Government should stop putting obstacles in the way of growth and deliver on infrastructure and housing, ditch its union-friendly industrial laws, reverse the reckless ban on oil and gas exploration, lift unnecessary restrictions on the flow of direct investment and reduce taxes on New Zealand households.

“National is unashamedly focused on growing the economy because we understand it is the most powerful way of improving the living standards of New Zealanders.

“A stronger economy means more jobs and higher incomes. Higher incomes also give households more choices, including whether to save more or pay down debt when the cost of borrowing rises.

“National will get on with implementing our pro-growth agenda by reducing taxes, increasing labour market flexibility, encouraging the flow of investment and slashing unnecessary regulations. Our economic plan will restore business confidence and revive the economy.”

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