New Zealand Labour Party

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. 

“The Reserve Bank has done much of the heavy lifting in response to the economic malaise New Zealand finds itself in. With rising unemployment, stagnant incomes and negative economic growth per capita the Bank had little choice but to cut rates. Now it is time for National to step up and do its part.  Drifting along can no longer be an option.  

“With the impending risk of drought and the potential for a collapse in the housing bubble, the risks to an already stumbling economy are high. The government needs to bring forward infrastructure programmes and work with businesses and local communities to create decent work.  We need an active government to address and prepare for these risks. We're not getting that from a government that seems comfortable letting the economy drift along.” says Grant Robertson.