The Treasury is now blaming plummeting business confidence and, implicitly, the Government for New Zealand’s slowing economy and the need to revise down its latest economic forecasts, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

Treasury has made the following points in its latest monthly economic commentary:

  • An increasingly pessimistic outlook from businesses has increased the risk of GDP growth undershooting its Budget 2019 forecasts in the quarters ahead.
  • Continued general business pessimism has increased the downside risk for its near-term GDP growth forecasts.
  • The outlook for GDP growth for the remainder of the year is likely to be lower than its Budget 2019 forecast.

“Those are harsh words from the Government’s own economic advisors,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“Business confidence plummeted when this Government came into office because they’ve put reckless ideology ahead of mainstream economic policy. Just last week, confidence fell further to its lowest levels since the depths of the Global Financial Crisis.

“The Government needs to take responsibility for falling business confidence because it has added costs to businesses and families through higher taxes and more regulations.

“It has created massive uncertainty with hundreds of working groups and reckless decisions like the oil and gas ban, and it has demonstrated incompetence, most famously with KiwiBuild and its woeful infrastructure policies.

“National understands that a strong economy is what puts more in the back pockets of New Zealanders and allows us to invest more in the things that matter to all of us.

“Without a strong economy we won’t be able to afford a healthcare system New Zealanders can rely on, transport that gets everyone home on time and the world-class education our kids deserve.

“National will restore confidence and revive our economy so that we can lift our aspirations, both in what we can earn and in what social challenges we can overcome.”

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