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PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports

National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.

“Under National, New Zealand has become ever more reliant on raw commodities such as milk and logs while non-primary manufacturing exports and other industries struggle.

“Overall exports have fallen from 33 per cent of GDP to 29 per cent of GDP under National, a far cry from their promise of increasing exports to 40 per cent of GDP. 

“Analysts will be checking tomorrow's Treasury forecasts to see how much further exports are now predicted to fall.

“John Key and Bill English can't blame the GFC or the Canterbury earthquakes for taking New Zealand backwards in exports as a proportion of our economy. It is their mismanagement that is to blame.

“Meanwhile too much capital continues to go into housing speculation rather than productive investment. We will never get rich selling houses and farms to each other or to foreigners.

“John Key and Bill English will produce yet another projection that has them limping back into surplus for the first time in six years, compared to Labour’s nine surpluses in a row.

“When re-elected, Labour will continue where we left off - running surpluses - because sound fiscal management is important. But good economic management is about more than fiscal management.

“Our Economic Upgrade plan will diversify our economy and boost exports through a focus on investment, innovation and industry. We will increase investment through universal KiwiSaver and use a capital gains tax (excluding the family home) to direct it to productive businesses and jobs.

“We will boost innovation through research and development tax credits and tax incentives to encourage investment in new technology.

“We will support crucial industries through upgrade plans for sectors such as forestry, manufacturing and ICT.

"The choice this election on economic management is clear. More of the same or a much-needed upgrade,” David Parker says.