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The economy looks set to continue to slow with yet another downgrade to New Zealand’s growth projections, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“ASB Chief Economist Nick Tuffley is now forecasting annual growth of less than 2 per cent for the year to March 2020, which is made up almost entirely by population growth.

“Tuffley is absolutely right when he says ‘growth can and should be stronger’. Our export prices are at historically high levels and so far have been largely unaffected by slowing international growth, interest rates are low and the Government inherited big surpluses.

“Yet our growth per person, which is the true measure of the progress we are making as a country, is currently only 0.5 per cent. That is well behind most of the OECD and below the 1.7 per cent average during the last five years under National.

“The economy has slowed primarily because New Zealanders lack confidence in this Government’s economic policies, policies that have driven up costs and created massive uncertainty. The Government has also utterly failed on delivering its flagship policies, most notably KiwiBuild.

“The Government should be stimulating the economy with much needed tax relief for hardworking Kiwis and by delivering the infrastructure New Zealand desperately needs.

“National will index tax thresholds to inflation, repeal the Regional Fuel Tax and get on with building the roads this Government has either cancelled or postponed. We have also floated other ideas for stimulating the economy such as accelerated depreciation for business investment or tax relief for small businesses.

“If National is elected in 2020 we’ll stop the excuses and get on with implementing our positive economic plan to restore business confidence and revive the economy.”

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