Today’s GDP figures illustrate the fallacy of the Government’s claim they won’t rely on population growth to underpin economic growth as GDP per capita came in well below headline GDP growth, National Finance Spokesperson Amy Adams says.
“GDP per capita was just 0.7 per cent for the year. This is significantly below the 1.6 per cent per capita New Zealand has averaged since 2012.
“In order to close the after wage gap with Australia - as we had been doing since 2008 - we need to be growing faster on a per person basis. Instead, New Zealand is now falling further behind.
“The Government inherited an economy that was growing strongly. Every one per cent lower growth means fewer opportunities for New Zealanders and around $800 million a year less revenue to pay for public services.
“With strong terms of trade and international growth rates, the Government has nobody to blame for the lower GDP growth but itself.
“Despite the quarterly results exceeding the Reserve Bank forecasts, these forecasts were already significantly lower than what was expected of the economy before the Government came into office last year.
“As the June quarter numbers released today don’t pick up the recent sharp drop in consumer confidence and business own activity indicators, GDP results for the second half of the year will be a better indication of just how much this Government is constraining our economy.”
“Economic growth needs stable, sound and pro-growth economic policies. The current Government doesn’t seem to realise that. Instead, it has implemented a range of growth-limiting policies such as increasing costs, banning oil and gas, banning foreign investment, introducing union-friendly labour reforms and not ruling out a higher tax burden for New Zealanders.
“A strong and growing the economy is the critical first step in improving the wellbeing and living standards of New Zealanders. Without solid growth we will fall further behind other countries such as Australia.”