For years New Zealand’s ‘rock star’ economy has been the envy of the world, but according to Westpac, the Ardern-Peters Government is fast turning it into a ‘support act’ economy, National’s Finance Spokesperson Amy Adams says.
“This shocking turnaround should be a wake-up call to the Government and show Grant Robertson that growth cannot simply be taken as a given.
“Westpac further suggests that the New Zealand economy will ‘continue to underperform its peers for the next few years’ after previously being ‘an outperformer on the global stage’.
“This Government could not have hoped to have inherited a stronger economy, with annual GDP growth averaging around 4 per cent, accompanied with high levels of business confidence and around 10,000 new jobs being created each month.
“But under this Government, GDP per capita growth has fallen to just 0.1 per cent in the previous quarter.
“These early signs of economic slowdown reflect a combination of low business confidence and uncertainty in the Government’s policy agenda.
“Mr Robertson has continually claimed that business confidence has no relationship to the real economy. However, Westpac’s analysis suggests there are tangible effects in the form of lower economic growth and lower standards of living for New Zealanders.
“The new pessimistic economic outlook also appears to be an early reaction to the Government’s low-growth policies, like the ban on oil and gas exploration, removal of personal income tax cuts for all working New Zealanders, and regional fuel taxes.
“Mr Robertson is in serious danger of squandering all the hard work of New Zealand businesses and workers since the GFC. He must understand that growth is not inevitable.”