Almost one in five people in Gisborne are on some sort of benefit, the highest rate in the country, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark.
“It is also one of the most depressed regions in terms of consumer confidence with today’s Westpac McDermott Miller survey showing a 14 per cent drop in business optimism over the past three months.
“Despite enormous potential, this is a province that is bleeding with this Government’s continued policy of regional neglect and economic mismanagement.
“Under this Government, Gisborne is facing slow economic death. It has the lowest level of home ownership and the second lowest median wage in New Zealand.
“If this wasn’t bad enough, unemployment is running at 7 per cent which is well above the national average of 5.9 per cent.
“Gisborne’s economic prospects have not been helped by a cut in Gisborne transport investment of $11 million and the decision to abandon the Gisborne – Napier Railway line.
“Even the sealing of roads in the region has been slashed by 20 per cent under this Government, the largest cut in the country.
“Labour will turn this ruinous state of affairs round with a proper investment in health and education, a regional infrastructure fund, R and D tax credits, and by moving more public service jobs into the regions,” says David Clark.