Paul Goldsmith: Show Us The Economic Data
National is calling on the Government to stop keeping New Zealanders in the dark and start releasing key information on the economy on a weekly basis, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.
“A week after Grant Robertson told the Epidemic Response Committee that key data on the economy would be ready within days, we still have no information on the lockdown’s effect on jobs and livelihoods.
“Employers and business owners are making critical decisions now on whether to ride out the lockdown or close down which impacts the lives of many Kiwis. They need real time information now. Importantly, New Zealanders need a clear sense of the wider impact of government decisions on our wellbeing.
“We need to see much more timely information on the state of the economy including real time data on benefit numbers and tax revenue. This data should be released on a weekly basis, not monthly.
“We also need to see the Treasury’s latest economic forecasts and modelling – which the Treasury Secretary said would be ready last week - so New Zealanders have a better idea of the economic impact of Covid-19 on the likes of GDP, unemployment and the Crown Accounts.
“Last week the OECD released figures showing New Zealand's economy would likely suffer a bigger economic impact from a Covid-19 lockdown than most other comparable economies. It doesn’t make sense that we can get information from the OECD about the state of New Zealand’s economy but we can’t get it out of the Treasury.
“It would also be useful for the Government to release any data it has on bank lending to businesses following the business finance guarantee scheme. National MPs are receiving feedback from some businesses that are finding the scheme less generous than the Government has signalled.
“Better data and information will help businesses plan for the future and give them more certainty about the impact the lockdown will have on their business.
“To date, the Government has been proactively releasing information on health forecasting and modelling. It should be doing the same with information about the economic consequences we’re facing.”