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News about the Economy & Employment


Surplus sideshow over, time for action


John Key and Bill English have delivered a jobless ‘recovery’ that has come and gone with unemployment expected to keep rising over the next two years Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

 “Several years after they declared the recession over, National have delivered the weakest economic recovery on record with unemployment never dropping below 5.6 per cent and wages remaining stagnant.  Unemployment is now forecast to stay above 6 per cent until 2017.  That means tens of thousands more Kiwis out of work. 

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National forget lesson of Serco circus in less than a week


The National Government's misguided ideological obsession with privatisation is continuing with the building of schools the latest target, despite the Serco circus this week, Grant Robertson Labour Duty Spokesperson says.

 "In the wake of the failed Serco contract there might have been some hope that National would wind back their privatisation agenda, but today's announcement of the third round of private builders and managers of schools shows that they have learned nothing.

 "Putting private operators in charge of managing schools undermines their wider value to the community.  The experience overseas has been that private operators have charged for the use of facilities outside of school hours.  Schools are often the hub of community activities and that should not be sacrificed for ideology and private profit.

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National needs to support rate cut with fresh ideas


Today's cut in the OCR needs to be supported with fresh ideas from the National Government to grow the economy, lower unemployment and lift incomes, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  

“The fall in the OCR to 2.5% matches the low point reached during the Global Financial Crisis and the Canterbury earthquakes. Bill English said last year that an increasing OCR reflected the strength of the economy. If that is the case then four cuts to the OCR in the last six months to a record low must reflect a weakening economy. 

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Complacent National letting the economy drift


Bill English's disinterested and lacklustre  performance at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning reflects National’s complacency as the New Zealand economy drifts into an economic malaise, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  

“Bill English today made it clear there was no sustainable surplus. With the Treasury Half Year Economic Update to be announced next week, he is softening up the public for a deficit in 2015/16. While he is wheeling out the same old excuses, a lack of growth, rising unemployment and stagnant wages are the primary reasons for the deficit.

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Overcharging of thousands of car owners continues


Thousands of car owners whose vehicles are incorrectly classified under National's shambolic ACC motor vehicle risk rating system face further delays in getting their levies right, Labour ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says.

“The Government has admitted it wrongly classified 115,000 vehicles last year, but several other models have subsequently been identified as having nonsensical ratings.

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Medical mistakes surge as system under-funding continues


A big surge in ACC claims for health botch-ups shows a health system under pressure, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson, Sue Moroney.

The number of claims has almost doubled in the last four years.

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Unfinished Canterbury claims used for surplus


EQC has admitted it didn’t know its full Canterbury claims liability at the same time it was reducing the Government’s ultimate liability to let Bill English scrape together a surplus, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“At the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning the Earthquake Commission acknowledged that at the end of the last financial year they had yet to finalise a policy for loss of value claims related to increased liquefaction vulnerability nor did they know the number of properties affected by increased flooding vulnerability.

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Brownlee barge can’t apply to Treasury report


Gerry Brownlee can’t get away with his usual bluff and bluster in response to Treasury’s scathing critique of the Christchurch anchor projects, Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Mr Brownlee has a reputation for barging through any questions or criticisms. He’s trying to do that again today after Treasury put red ratings on the Canterbury anchor projects, meaning they may not be delivered successfully.

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Southland confidence goes south


Southland’s low consumer confidence reflects the Government’s terrible record when it comes to regional growth, says Economic Development spokesperson David Clark.

“The latest ANZ Regional Trends report shows a massive drop in consumer confidence in Southland over the last year from a net positive 22 per cent last year to negative 7.2 per cent today, the lowest in the country. 

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