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The release of today’s Terms of Trade data shows more evidence that New Zealand’s economic slowdown is due to domestic factors like Government policy, National’s Finance spokeswoman Amy Adams says.

“The data shows a one per cent increase for the quarter, which means our export prices are increasing relative to the price of imports. The strong terms of trade coupled with exports that are holding up completely contradict the Government’s claims that the slowing New Zealand economy is due to global factors.

“Under this Government, economic growth has fallen from 4 per cent a year to barely 2 per cent. Growth per person has stalled. Job creation under National was 10,000 a month. In the past three months, the number of jobs has declined by 4,000. Forecast surpluses are cumulatively $9 billion lower over the next five years than previously forecast and debt is now tracking $5 billion higher by 2023.

“It is now evident the Government has no plan to grow the economy. Instead it is piling more costs and uncertainty on small to medium sized businesses who are now less willing to invest and grow. Amongst other things the Government has slowed the economy by:

  • banning oil and gas exploration;
  • restricting much needed foreign investment;
  • introducing more union-friendly labour laws;
  • increasing labour costs; and
  • introducing over 250 working groups in core areas such as tax, education, energy and welfare.

“Despite inheriting endless and growing surpluses, some economists are now predicting this Government will be back in deficit in coming years and may also fail to meet its own self-imposed debt targets. That is not a sign of a prosperous or growing economy.

“A slowing economy means fewer jobs, lower incomes and less revenue for core areas such as health, education and infrastructure. National has a proven track record of managing the books effectively while sustainably increasing funding in core public services.”

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