Perennially low business confidence and declining optimism from firms about their own futures demands more than just excuses from the Finance Minister, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“The just-released ANZ Business Outlook survey shows business confidence remains in the doldrums and firms are becoming less optimistic about their own activity for the year ahead.

“Another emerging trend – not captured by the survey but impossible to miss – is the Finance Minister repeatedly falling back on ‘global headwinds’ as an excuse for everything that’s wrong with our economy.

“Grant Robertson needs to stop with these excuses and start delivering. His Government has driven down business confidence by adding costs, creating uncertainty, and making a hash of KiwiBuild as well as this country’s transport infrastructure.

“The ANZ survey found that firms’ expectations for the year ahead remained ‘uninspiring’, particularly for the retail sector, which is more exposed than most to minimum wage rises and is feeling the pinch on its margins. What is this Government doing to help them?

“This comes on a day when the crown accounts provided a sobering reminder that a slowing economy will deliver less tax revenue and leave the Government with fewer options

“The reality is our growth is slowing, we’re facing the prospect of deficits, and infrastructure is fast approaching a cliff where the work will dry up.

“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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