Real disposable income falls in last three months

Kiwis are working harder than ever but real disposable income per person fell in the last quarter thanks to record population increases, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson said.

‘In Budget 2016 the National Government said that what mattered most for higher material living standards is per capita GDP. Today that is just 0.7 per cent for the year. Real disposable income per capita actually fell in the last quarter. No wonder Kiwis don’t feel they are getting ahead.

“When New Zealanders hear the headline GDP numbers they will wonder why they are not feeling the benefits. The answer is because on a per person basis our economy is barely moving.

“We have seen enormous population growth in New Zealand in the last year and that generates economic activity. But what these numbers show is that we are not getting the increased economic value from that to mean real sustainable growth. This adds further to the need to review and adjust immigration policy to ensure it contributes to real growth.

“Our economy remains propped up by this population growth and an unsustainable housing bubble. The rapidly increasing cost of housing and low wage increases have many New Zealanders feeling they are missing out. National’s complacency in the face of this is sadly out of touch.

“Labour will focus on growing decent work all around New Zealand by being an active government working with regions and industries to add value, supporting small businesses and investing in research and development. We will focus on giving all New Zealanders a fair share in prosperity and opportunity through investing in education, health and housing.

“We can do so much better as a country than running on the spot, but it will only happen if we change the government,” Grant Robertson said.