New Zealand Labour Party

Record debt to income ratio shows economy out of balance

National’s complacent attitude to debt to income ratios rising above pre-financial crisis levels will be a concern to many New Zealanders and the Government must take action to rebalance the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.


“The borrowing binge is back and it has rapidly outpaced wage growth. This puts the economy seriously out of balance. We saw the possible negative outcomes of this eight years ago. Surely even a government as day-to-day as this one can remember that far back.

“Increasing debt, high population growth and rampant speculation is not a plan for sustainable economic growth. The eventual repayment of debt will slow growth in the future. More worryingly, any future increases in interest rates will challenge the current strength of house prices and the ability of households to service debt.


“In the long run the only winners of such an economy are the bankers, the speculators and the super-rich. National is too focussed on the few at the top.


“The problems of high debt levels is already playing out in the rural sector where over-leveraged farmers are struggling to make ends meet.  But National’s out of touch attitude to these economic fundamentals mean there’s likely to be little action taken


“A Labour Government will ensure the economy is focussed on productivity, innovation and sustainability,” says Grant Robertson.