Govt's credibility gap on the economy

Fri, 08 Feb, 2019

Even as both the global economy and New Zealand’s economy slow, the Prime Minister continues to push terrible economic policies, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Jacinda Ardern giving a speech about the economy is like Donald Trump talking about feminism. The Government has a massive credibility gap on economic policy.

“While the PM acknowledged the world economy was slowing and that this would have an impact on New Zealand, she continued to press the case for a ‘fairer’ tax system, a heavy-handed Zero Carbon Act, and poor-quality spending.

“The IMF and the OECD tell us the world economy is slowing. There was no growth in New Zealand’s GDP per capita in the September 2018 quarter and unemployment has ticked up to 4.3 per cent. New Zealand’s biggest bank – ANZ – has said ‘the economy is clearly coming off the boil’.

“Yet Labour wants to hit successful New Zealanders with a capital gains tax. This will reduce saving and investment in productive assets like shares and small businesses and will hurt the economy and workers.

“The PM also spoke about the Zero Carbon Act which every party – including National – is likely to agree to. NZIER suggests GDP growth will be in the range of 10 per cent to 22 per cent less in 2050 as a result of the Zero Carbon Act. Only ACT opposes this legislation.

“New costs and more red tape are on the way with a minimum wage that will rise to $20 by 2021 and new industry-wide collective bargaining that will make firms less competitive.

“The Government has also banned oil and gas exploration and turned foreign investors away. Foreign investors are looking on aghast.

“The PM also told the business audience she wants more kids in trades. Fees Free undermines this goal. When university and trades training cost the same, students are more likely to choose university.

“Then we have Shane Jones’ $3 billion slush fund. New Zealanders are paying higher taxes so NZ First can dispense patronage to buy political support.

“The business audience would have scratched their heads at the PM’s five Wellbeing Budget priorities – they have little to do with a thriving economy. Ardern and Robertson should be tackling the basics rather than babbling about kindness and wellbeing.

“ACT has a sharply different view of the world. We stand for opportunity through freedom. Low and flat taxes, less red tape, an education system in which there is competition and choice, and allowing the private sector to build more homes.”