Today’s ANZ Consumer Confidence survey shows Kiwi consumers are feeling more pessimistic as the economy continues to slow, job creation stalls and the cost of living continues to rise, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.
“At a time when New Zealand should be doing well, consumer confidence fell six points in July to a level now below its long term average. Of particular concern is the increase in the number of New Zealanders who think economic conditions will worsen in the next year under the economic management of Grant Robertson and the Labour Government.
“It is no surprise pessimism is rife when the Government has hammered consumers with more costs and higher taxes, including increased petrol excise taxes, a regional fuel tax, cancelled tax relief, an Amazon tax and now the prospect of a car tax.
“Falling consumer confidence follows the sharp fall in business confidence earlier this week to levels not seen since the depths of the Global Financial Crisis. The Government needs to take responsibility as it has continued to add costs to businesses, has created massive uncertainty and has demonstrated incompetence in critical areas, most famously with KiwiBuild.
“All main economic indicators are getting worse under this Government. Economic growth is slowing, per person growth has stalled, job creation is in decline and benefit numbers have risen rapidly.
“A slower economy means fewer opportunities for Kiwis to get ahead, to gain well-paying, satisfying jobs, and less ability for our country to afford quality healthcare and public services.
“This Government needs to stop taking economic growth for granted and dial back its anti-growth agenda, while getting on with delivering the infrastructure this country needs.
“A National Government would restore confidence and revive our economy, so that we can lift our aspirations, both in what we can earn and in what social challenges we can overcome.”