The Westpac McDermott Miller Confidence Survey shows there is serious unease about the economy’s ability to deliver benefits to many New Zealanders, despite the Government trumpeting headline figures, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“According to this survey a significantly larger proportion of households earning less than $50,000 report no improvement in their financial situation over the past year compared to those on higher incomes. They are also more concerned about the outlook for the economy in the next few years.
“Many New Zealanders are working harder than ever, and they deserve a fair share of prosperity. But right now they are not seeing the benefits of growth for them and their families. Growth per person is stagnant and real disposable income per person actually fell in the last quarter.
“While the headline numbers might look good, the fact that the number of households expecting favourable conditions in five years’ time is at the lowest level in decades shows just how cautious people are about the Government’s claims of economic success.
“It’s also clear that many in rural households are struggling and face real concerns about cash flows.
“An economy fuelled by population growth isn’t going to deliver the higher wages and better opportunities Kiwis want to see. It only creates more self-congratulatory press releases for the Government.
“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,” Grant Robertson said.