“The Prime Minister’s claim earlier this month that ‘the economy is back’ now looks foolish with news this morning that economic activity has fallen sharply,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
The March 2020 quarter saw the largest fall in economic activity since 1991.
“With New Zealand now almost certainly in recession, we need to give people certainty, with a clear plan to restart the economy.
“This was entirely foreseeable. The Government’s Covid-19 response was late, and it then had to impose a severe lockdown.
“It showed a lack of nimbleness on testing and contact tracing, it took an essential rather than a safe approach to opening the up the economy, and it still hasn’t managed to use innovative technology to create smart borders.
“There was always going to be an economic slowdown. The challenge is how we deal with it.
“Right now, the Government has no plan except borrowing $140 billion and hoping for a vaccine to come along.
“The economic and fiscal impacts of this crisis are going to be much greater than the Prime Minister and the Government have told New Zealanders.
“Instead of aiming for perfection on a single measure, borrowing billions, and hoping for a vaccine that might not arrive, ACT has said we need to build resilience in post-Covid-19 world.
“We have produced a clear and comprehensive plan to cut taxes and red tape, go for growth, create new job opportunities, and take on less debt.
“We also need to invest in our public health and create the world’s smartest borders. This requires proactiveness from government, working with the private sector.
“One example would be using innovative technology like Datamine’s ëlarm in conjunction with other border measures. It would likely have detected the two wayward travellers who caused so much trouble this week.
“New Zealanders need more certainty from the Government and a clear plan for restarting the economy. Borrowing billions and hoping for a vaccine won’t cut it.”