Todd Muller outlines National’s first term priorities

Creating tens of thousands of new full-time jobs and building a better economy than before the Covid-19 crisis will be National’s top priorities in its first term, Leader of the Opposition Todd Muller told his home community of Te Puna today.

In a wide-ranging speech at the Te Puna Rugby Club, referencing everything from his high-level foreign policy priorities to water management policy, Mr Muller said his Government’s approach to day-to-day economic management would be based on that of his friends, colleagues and mentors, the Rt Hon. Sir John Key, the Rt Hon. Sir Bill English and the Hon. Steven Joyce.

“The story of the next three years will initially be about a desperate attempt to protect all our families from the worst effects of the worst economic downturn any of us has ever known – and then it will be about building a better economy than we had before.

“New Zealanders trust National Governments to come to power at times of economic crisis and to steer New Zealand safely through them.

“However proud we are of how our Team of Five Million addressed the health crisis, we cannot risk a Labour Government being in charge of the economic and unemployment crisis ahead.”

Mr Muller said he backed his strong National Party team over the Prime Minister’s clumsy and incompetent ministers to get New Zealand through the crisis.

According to Infometrics, 40,000 jobs were destroyed in the first wave of the economic and unemployment crisis in April, to be followed by another 80,000 in the second wave before the election. A third wave is also expected before Christmas, which Mr Muller fears will be the worst of all.

“Around 120,000 families will have lost their income by the election and it will be worse by Christmas,” he said.

“National’s prudent economic management, plus our new initiatives like JobStart, will immediately create the conditions for tens of thousands of new real, permanent full-time jobs.

“The practice of the last 20 years of working groups flying around before governments get on with helping New Zealanders is over. The game’s up, because Covid-19 has shown us that the Wellington bureaucracy can in fact move much faster when it needs to.”