GDP decline a wakeup call for Government

Today’s GDP result is particularly disappointing because it appears the biggest contributor is the decline in the infrastructure sector, National’s Shadow Treasurer Andrew Bayly says.

“According to Stats NZ 2.9 per cent is the largest annual fall ever in GDP for New Zealand. Construction activity has fallen by almost 10 per cent in the September to December period, normally the busiest time for our infrastructure sector.

“The principal reason appears to be a lack of infrastructure investment that occurred during this time.

“But this was why the Government originally announced its shovel-ready projects, the whole point of the programme was speed. They were meant to give our economy a boost and offset job losses.

“Instead the Government has shown an inability to deliver with construction only started on 49 of the 205 shovel-ready projects that were due to start within 12 months of the announcement.

“This is an area Finance Minister Grant Robertson can’t blame on the Reserve Bank, he should have his foot on the gas and be making sure his Government delivers on its infrastructure promises.

“The fact the New Zealand economy is now shrinking again should be a big wake up call to the Finance Minister.

“Announcements won’t fix our economy, shovels in the ground will.”