National's complacency in the face of plunging global dairy prices is recklessly irresponsible as farmers and the communities around them see billions of dollars disappear in front of their eyes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“National has literally laughed off concerns over the looming collapse in dairy prices for over a year now. They haven’t listened to Labour, economists or regional New Zealand, insisting prices would bounce back.
Another dramatic drop in global dairy auction prices highlights how reckless National has been in failing to properly diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“Overall prices dropped by 9.3% in the auction, including a 10.3% drop for whole milk powder, which represents 75% of Fonterra's milk price. These are the lowest prices ever in the global dairy trade auction and the whole milk powder price has halved since March.
News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“The Government needs to work with New Zealand’s banks as dairy incomes continue to plummet. The Ashburton Guardian has reported the bank as saying it will not tolerate two more years of losses from highly leveraged farmers.
The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.
"Today's interest rate cut comes off the back of record lows in dairy prices, plunging business, consumer and employment confidence, dropping exports, a decrease in advertised jobs and stagnant wage growth. That the Governor has chosen to cut rates despite the risk of pouring petrol on an inflamed Auckland housing market shows just how serious New Zealand's worsening economic outlook is.
KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“Official IRD statistics show that for the first time ever, fewer young people are enrolled in KiwiSaver than the previous month.. A net 551 people aged 0 to 17 dropped out from KiwiSaver in June. Compared to the average for the previous 12 months, in June the number of people actively choosing to join KiwiSaver is also down by 35 per cent, while overall the number of new KiwiSaver members joining is down by 29 per cent.
With the economic mood in New Zealand souring, it is time for John Key to admit reality and drop the King Canute approach, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“John Key is claiming that 95 per cent of the economy is unaffected by the dramatic drop in dairy prices. In the face of an economic slowdown and rapidly declining business and consumer confidence, that is just irresponsible spin.
The bad news is mounting for the economy with job ads falling in June, suggesting employment is taking a hit, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“ANZs Job Ads data shows job advertising fell 0.6 per cent in June and is down 0.7 per cent since last year. Advertising has declined in five of the past six months which doesn’t point towards any significant decline in the already high unemployment rate.
Milk prices hitting an all time low in the latest dairy auction is more evidence of the disastrous impact of the complacency of the National Government on the economy and New Zealand jobs and incomes, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.
“There has been another double-digit fall in dairy prices overnight, which are now at their lowest level since Global Dairy Trade auctions began. Prices have fallen more than 40 per cent since March and are 62 per cent lower than last year’s peak.