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The Government’s anti-growth policies are hitting home, with the latest figures from Statistics New Zealand showing the number of people unemployed has increased by 4000 in the last three months, says National’s Finance Spokesperson Amy Adams.

“While unemployment remains low, it shouldn’t be increasing at all when there are such large capacity constraints in the labour market and businesses have previously been crying out for new workers. The only explanation is poor Government policies.

“Even more concerning is the fact that wages haven’t kept up with cost of living increases. According to the latest figures from Statistics New Zealand, the average wage grew 0.27 per cent in the June quarter, compared to inflation of 0.4 per cent.

“Wages are stagnating at a time when the Government’s policies are pushing up costs on New Zealand families through higher fuel taxes, higher rents and cancelling National’s tax cuts.

“The Government’s policies such as 1970’s style labour laws, shutting the oil and gas industry down and higher taxes are clearly starting to flow through to the labour market. They’re having a real impact on Kiwi families and stopping them from getting ahead.

“The reality is that this Government inherited a very strong economy with a buoyant labour market. But since coming to office the Coalition has only made it harder for people to get a new job or a pay increase.

“The effects of the Government’s poor economic management are only starting to be felt. It needs to stop making it harder for New Zealanders to get into work and start listening to businesses who want to invest in Kiwi workers. It must recognise it is having a real negative effect and act to turn it around.”

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