New Zealand businesses have lost confidence and fear worse to come as they struggle to find workers and juggle rising costs, National's Finance spokesperson Nicola Willis says.
"NZIER’s latest Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion shows business confidence at its weakest level since March 2020, with 62 per cent of firms reporting they expect worse times ahead.
"The vast majority of firms are planning to lift prices in the next three months, and firms across the country report it is harder to find unskilled workers than at any time since the mid-1970s.
“New Zealand businesses are the engine for our economy, growing wealth and creating jobs and incomes. This data shows they are running on empty, crying out for workers and drowning under increasing costs. Their struggle is bad news for all New Zealanders and points to more troubles ahead for our economy.
“This survey should come as a wake-up call to the Government. Labour has failed to present a credible economic plan, with the result that a growing group of New Zealanders have lost confidence in their futures.
“The Government must take action to restore confidence in our economy: fix immigration settings to welcome desperately needed workers, scrap plans for so-called Fair Pay Agreements, restore discipline to Government spending, dump plans to introduce a jobs-tax and put a halt on unnecessary new regulations.
“National would boost New Zealand’s prosperity by listening to business concerns, responding with effective Government policy and backing everyday employers, entrepreneurs and innovators to succeed."