The Government’s reckless and low-growth approach to running the economy is yet again on display with business confidence dropping to levels not seen since the global financial crisis, says Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges.

“When it seemed as though business confidence could go no lower, the latest ANZ business confidence survey has business confidence dropping another six points taking it to their lowest levels in 10 years. Firms’ views on their own activity are also down a further 5 points for the month.

“Businesses are becoming increasingly unlikely to hire more workers or increase wages, meaning fewer opportunities - meaning Kiwi families are less likely to get ahead.

“The fact that these numbers are at their worst levels in 10 years show just how worried businesses are and the Government must take responsibility as there is no other driver of this change.

“It is their low-growth policies such as union-friendly industrial relations reforms, restrictions on overseas investment, immigration uncertainty, axing oil and gas exploration and increasing costs on small businesses which have all been bad for business sentiment and the economy.

“Today’s ANZ numbers are on top of figures showing New Zealand had already fallen to second lowest in the OECD’s business confidence index after being the second highest in 2016 – a drop of 33 places. That’s a real concern.

“This is in comparison to Australia where there was a new job advertised in its mining, resources and energy sector every six minutes. While Australia is expanding the Government here in New Zealand is making it more and more difficult for businesses to grow and invest and we are going to find it harder to compete.

“The Prime Minister has made it her personal mission to turn around tanking business confidence. She needs to do it urgently by recognising her Government’s low-growth policies are causing real concern and slowing New Zealand down and she needs to put a stop to it.”

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