New Zealand Labour Party

Fact Check: The Economy

How do we know the economy will be safe in Labour’s hands?

We’ll be responsible economic managers - that’s why we devised our Budget Responsibility Rules, which you can read here. We’ve also got a strong fiscal plan signed off by independent economists BERL. Importantly, we also know that the measure of a good economy is not just having the numbers in the right place, but also how people are doing. That’s why we’re going to address the social issues we have in New Zealand. As Jacinda said at our campaign launch: ‘A successful economy is one that serves its people - not the other way around.’

We have low unemployment and 180,000 new jobs, don’t we? So why is Labour dissatisfied?

We’re dissatisfied because there are 128,000 New Zealanders who are unemployed - that is far too many people who are missing out.

As well as that, we’ve got over 70,000 young New Zealanders who aren’t in training, work or education. That’s just not good enough.

Labour will reduce the unemployment rate to below 4%, and we’ll make sure we give our young people lots of great opportunities.

Incomes have risen, so why is Labour unhappy?

Actually, in real terms, incomes fell last year - that means wages haven’t kept up with rising living costs.

And two thirds of New Zealanders had a wage increase that was less than inflation last year. That isn’t great, either.

With Labour, 70% of families with kids will be better off than under National’s families package; we’ll lift the minimum wage to $16.50; we’ll introduce living wages for the core public service in our first 100 days and extend it to contractors over time; and we’ll bring in Fair Pay Agreements to lift pay across whole industries.

How will you pay for everything?

Labour has a strong fiscal plan that’s been signed off by independent economists BERL. We’ve properly costed all the policies in our plan, so we know we can pay for it - and still run a surplus.

Check out our fiscal plan here.