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The Government’s failed policies, uncertainty and incompetence has driven business confidence into the floor and New Zealanders are missing out on opportunities because of it, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“The just released ANZ Business Outlook Survey has fallen yet again, with a net 54 per cent of businesses now pessimistic about the economy. Of greatest concern is firms’ expectations for their own activity falling to the lowest level since 2009.

“Symbolic gestures like withholding pay from company directors will do nothing to arrest business confidence and turn around the slowing economy.

“Business confidence and the economy should be doing a lot better. Export prices are at record highs and interest rates are low. Yet growth has virtually ground to a halt once immigration is taken into account.                           

“Growth per person, which is the best measure of progress, is mediocre. On that measure we are lagging well behind most OECD countries.

“If growth per person had remained at 1.7 per cent over the last year – the average during the last five years of National – then the average New Zealander would be over $700 a year better off.

“Fundamentally, growth is stalling because this Government has been irredeemably complacent about the sources of growth and is undermining several of them. 

“It has driven down business confidence by adding costs, creating massive uncertainty and by demonstrating incompetence with KiwiBuild and a lack of progress on transport infrastructure.

“New Zealanders living standards will continue to fall behind where they should be if we continue to stagnate like we are at the moment.  

“If National is elected in 2020, we will implement our positive economic plan to restore business confidence and revive the economy so that we can lift our aspirations, both in what we can earn and in the social challenges we can overcome.”

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