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Otago can add a billion to our economy

Today’s Westpac Consumer Confidence Survey paints a bleak picture of the Government’s economic management in Otago. The report shows economic confidence is negative, and consumer confidence is down by a whopping 7.4% in the most recent quarter. says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. 

“If the Otago economy was achieving its potential we would be a billion dollars richer.

“The bleak reality is that National has allowed Otago to lag by 10 per cent in its economic output per person. If we lifted this to the national average that would be worth  $100 per person more each week. It would also be a boost to the country’s GDP. 

“Sadly thousands of well-paying jobs have disappeared from the province. It is now one of the slowest growing regions in the country. 

“Since 2008, 1 in 5 manufacturing jobs have been lost and economic activity from manufacturing has fallen by 23 per cent. 

“The Hillside railway workshops have lost hundreds of jobs while the Government buys shoddy rolling stock from overseas. Under National, just 4 kilometres of Otago’s roads have been sealed. When Labour was the government, an extra 174 kilometres of the region’s roads were sealed. 

“We also need to spend money now on Dunedin Hospital. That project is currently estimated to bring $300 million to the Otago economy. The terrible state of the hospital and the cuts to rural health services are putting Otago people at risk. 

“To get Otago moving again, Labour would invest in health, rebalance transport funding, locate public service jobs in the regions and provide infrastructure funding that will benefit Otago. 

“Otago has so much potential as a region that it cannot be allowed to languish and leak high value jobs like it has under National. We need action and we need action now,” says David Clark.