The Government can’t continue to cling to policies that are harming the economy while trying to ignore the growing body of negative indicators, National’s Finance spokesperson Amy Adams says.
“The latest Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion shows the percentage of firms expecting economic conditions to deteriorate is at the highest since March 2009 and the important own activity measure is the lowest in six years.
“NZIER says the survey points to GDP growth of just 2 per cent in the year to September 30, well below the levels touted by the Finance Minister. Significantly, the survey found that Government policy was the biggest driver of business confidence, followed by labour issues.
“Instead of taking credit for the strong foundations built up by National, the Government should stop experimenting with the economy and cease being the biggest source of uncertainty for business. It is arrogance to ignore the impact of bad policies.
“National wants New Zealanders to keep more of what they earn. It believes in sensible, consistent economic policies that encourage businesses to grow, invest more, create more jobs and lift incomes.
“The QSBO shows this Government is doing the opposite. More firms cut staff in the latest quarter and they expect to reduce investment in the coming three months.
“These findings from NZIER are in line with other indicators. The Business Central survey this week shows businesses across the lower North Island remain broadly pessimistic and most ‘don’t think the Government has a plan to raise the country’s economic performance.’
“Business Central says businesses are ‘most concerned about uncertainty around the Government's policies, finding the right staff, and future employment law changes.’
“New Zealand needs to maximise its opportunities not squander them or our ability to cope with external global shocks will be diminished and we will fall further behind comparable economies like Australia.
“The realities of overseeing an economy are being learned too slowly by this Government. It is clinging to a high-cost, feel-good wish list but offering little substantive policy to drive economic growth and deliver more opportunities for New Zealanders.”