GDP figures confirm worst fears

Today’s GDP figures confirm National’s worst fears about the looming economic and jobs crisis, Opposition Leader Todd Muller said today.

“Today’s announcement of a 1.6 per cent drop in GDP in the March quarter confirms the Reserve Bank and the National Party were right to say New Zealand faces its worst economic downturn in 160 years,” Mr Muller said.

“On a per capita basis, the news is even worse – with the income of the average Kiwi down 2.2 per cent in the March quarter.

“Even though this data today covers just one week of lockdown, it is the worst result in 30 years, despite the wage subsidy scheme and massive fiscal stimulus.

“Since the time of this data, Statistics NZ says nearly 40,000 jobs were destroyed in the month of April that followed, and all predictions are that it will keep getting worse.

“For example, Infometrics says another 80,000 expected to be axed in the second wave of job losses before the election – and even more in the third wave before Christmas.

“As National has been saying, it is now certain New Zealand is in a deep recession. Every family and community in New Zealand is going to be hit worse than almost anyone alive today can remember.

“This was before the shock news this week that New Zealand’s clumsy and incompetent border controls risk the return of Covid-19, putting lives at risk and threatening even more unfathomable economic misery.

“New Zealand needs a National Government and a comprehensive recovery plan not Labour’s ‘borrow-and-hope’ strategy of never-ending industrial-scale borrowing while waiting – perhaps forever – for a vaccine.”