John Key and Bill English need to be straight with New Zealanders about the damage their failure to diversify the economy is doing, after new figures show export growth plunged due to a collapse in dairy exports, says Grant Robertson.
“Dairy exports fell over 30 per cent compared to January last year, dragging total export value down by over nine per cent. This is a blow to a nation that relies on increasing export values to grow the economy, create jobs and boost wages.
“National has promised for 7 years to lift exports from 30 per cent to 40 per cent of GDP. The latest drop in exports confirms the trend, that exports are now under 30 per cent of GDP. National’s economic policies have failed in this crucial area.
“This is driving a low-value economy which leads directly to low wages and bad jobs.
“We cannot get wealthier as a country by selling houses to each other and milk to one market.
“Not only has National increased the reliance on dairy products, the figures today show the 30 per cent fall in value of those exports was accompanied by an almost three per cent rise in volume of dairy exports. Productivity is going out the window.
“National campaigned on economic management and cherry-picked statistics to paper over the cracks. It’s time John Key and Bill English were straight with Kiwis: the economy is extremely fragile.
“New Zealand needs a long term plan to deliver sustainable and diverse export growth. National says it has one – this is yet another issue they aren’t telling the full truth to the public,” says Grant Robertson.