Kiwis’ real disposable income goes nowhere for the year

New Zealanders’ hard work for the last year resulted in no increase in real disposable income, showing Kiwis aren’t getting ahead under National, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“Today’s GDP figures reveal that real gross national disposable income per person was at zero for the last year. And GDP per person rose by just 0.5 per cent, primarily thanks to record population growth. Westpac had described that as ‘sluggish’.

“Right now Kiwis are working extremely hard but they’re playing catch up. With house prices skyrocketing by $2450 a week in Auckland, the news that incomes aren’t rising will be a bitter blow to those trying to get on the housing ladder.

“The economy simply isn’t keeping up with population growth, which has seen a net 70,000 people arriving in the country in the past year.

“Bill English admitted today at Select Committee that per capita GDP isn’t rising at a good enough rate. But he sticks to a vague Treasury assumption that migration will taper off, with no evidence to back that up. Such assurances won’t wash with New Zealanders. He’s out of touch.

“Only a change in government will ensure that the economy delivers for those in the middle, not just the fortunate few at the top. Labour will invest in lifting the value of the economy to generate decent work and give all New Zealanders opportunity through quality housing, health and education,” says Grant Robertson.