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NZers not confident Government has adequate economic plans

New Zealanders not confident Government has adequate economic plans

The Government suffers a series of poor economic management and policy confidence results in a new HorizonPoll nationwide survey.

New Zealanders, by large majorities, are not confident the Government has adequate plans to reduce unemployment, achieve economic growth, increase household incomes, and cut government and private debt, according to the Horizon Research study.

For the first time more people also disapprove of the Government’s handling of the economy than approve.

The survey of 1,989 New Zealanders, with a maximum margin of error of +/- 2.2%, finds the following when people are asked if they are confident the Government has adequate plans to deal with each of these issues:

• Reducing unemployment: 75.7% not confident, 18.6% confident
• Achieving economic growth: 62.4% not confident, 28.9% confident
• Reducing Government debt: 68.3% not confident, 24.3% confident
• Reducing private debt: 74.6% not confident, 15.5% confident
• Increasing household incomes: 81.6% not confident, 12.5% confident.

Asked if, overall, the financial position of their household is better or worse than a year ago

• 52.2% say it is worse (13.2% much worse)
• 34.8% say about the same, and
• 12.6% say it is better (1.8% much better), while 0.4% would rather not say.

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Asked if they generally approve or disapprove of the job the Government is doing in handling the economy

• 25.5% approve and 39.4% disapprove.
Among business decision makers:

• 32.7% approve, 15.3% disapprove.

Compared with November, 2010, when the economic management question was last asked, there has been an 8.7% drop in approval and 7% growth in disapproval among New Zealanders.

Among business people there has been a 6.7% drop in approval and 1% rise in disapproval.

The survey was conducted using the nationally representative HorizonPoll panel ( between February 15 and March 10, 2011. Most responses had been received before the second major Canterbury earthquake on February 22, 2011. Horizon says perceptions may change depending on how the Government is seen to be handling the earthquake diaster.

Results are for the 1989 respondents, weighted by age, gender, ethnicity, region, personal income and party vote 2008 to provide a representative sample of the New Zealand population 18+. The maximum margin of error at a 95% confidence level is +/- 2.2%.

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