Finance Minister Grant Robertson is desperate to downplay signs this Government is hurting the economy but he’s been shown up by Australia, where per-capita growth is running three times faster, National’s Finance spokesperson Amy Adams says.
“Mr Robertson has poured scorn on any economic indicators that don’t suit the Government’s narrative. If business confidence was booming he would be claiming the credit rather than trying to discredit the surveys and what they do tell us.
“Australia’s per-capita GDP grew 1.8 per cent in the past year compared with just 0.6 per cent in New Zealand based on the most recent figures.
“Kiwis proudly hold their own on the sports field against our trans-Tasman rivals but when it comes to economic management, this Government is clearly not match-fit. It has dropped the ball and eroded many of the gains made under National.
“From 2012 until National left office last year, GDP per capita outgrew Australia’s every single quarter. That has ended under this Government. Real after-tax wages grew by 18 per cent under National compared to just 8 per cent in Australia.
“These are the sorts of indicators that drive decisions by many New Zealanders on where they want to live. Under National, migration across the Tasman turned around from a net outflow of 30,000 in 2008 to a net inflow in 2017.
“That has reversed in 2018. So far this year, a net 2000 people have headed for Australia in search of a better life. They haven’t waited for the Government to deliver on feel-good promises we can’t afford and policies that hurt growth and employment, and drive up costs.
“This Government lacks the real-world experience to fully understand how its beltway theories hurt businesses and ordinary Kiwis. By contrast, National believes in sensible, consistent economic policies that encourage growth and give everyone an opportunity to get ahead.”