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The Finance Minister’s insistence that New Zealanders should be happy with our economic performance, an annual growth rate of just 0.5 per cent per person, shows a lack of ambition for this country, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“We should be doing a lot better. Export prices are high and the Government has been trying to stimulate the economy, and yet growth has virtually ground to a halt once immigration is taken into account.

“The main reason our credit rating remains strong is because of the hard work of the last National Government to pay down debt after the Global Financial Crisis.                  

“Growth per person, which is the best measure of progress, is mediocre. On that measure we are lagging well behind most OECD countries.

“Fundamentally, growth is stalling because this Government has been irredeemably complacent about the sources of growth and is undermining several of them. 

“It has driven down business confidence, by adding costs, creating massive uncertainty and by demonstrating incompetence with KiwiBuild and a lack of progress on transport infrastructure.

“If National is elected in 2020, we will set out to restore business confidence and revive the economy so that we can lift our aspirations, both in what we can earn and in the social challenges we can overcome.”

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