Is National really better than Labour with the economy? Yeah, nah.

National tells New Zealanders to trust them with the economy, but recent data shows they’re not the strong economic managers they like to claim.

Labour has a strong track record of keeping debt under control. We’ve worked hard over the past three years to pay down the debt we inherited from the previous National Government, and manage the books responsibly – and the results speak for themselves.

Under John Key and Bill English, debt as a percentage of GDP skyrocketed from 9.1 percent to 24.6 percent. Before COVID-19, our Government reduced this debt to below 20 percent of GDP – and thanks to our careful economic management, we’ve been able to get our economy moving faster through our COVID recovery.

The numbers show this wasn’t a one-off. Helen Clark’s Labour Government inherited a net debt of 23.9 percent of GDP from the Bolger/Shipley Government, which Labour’s Finance Minister Michael Cullen paid down to 5.4 percent of GDP.

As we respond to and rebuild from COVID-19, New Zealand needs a government who can responsibly manage the economy and take on any future challenges. Unlike National, Labour has a clear, costed plan to grow the economy and support New Zealanders while carefully managing debt.

Under our plan, Government debt at its peak will still be significantly lower than many other countries had before COVID-19. Forecasts show our net debt will reach around 53 percent of GDP, while the average for advanced economies around the world, before COVID-19 hit, was 80 percent of GDP.

What’s more, our plan is designed to grow the economy and pay down debt without requiring harsh cuts to essential services like health and education. It will support future generations of New Zealanders by investing in people and ensuring we build back better.

National is all over the place on the economy. Their economic plan is irresponsible and unaffordable. What New Zealand needs now is stability and continuity – and Labour is the Party with the clear plan and strong track record to lead our country through.

You can read more about our rebuild and recovery plan here.