Fonterra’s forecast payout has more than halved in two years, creating an $8.2b hole in the economy – which must finally be a wake-up call for National, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“The fall in the payout means it will be approximately just $7b, a fall from $15b two years ago. This will put real pressure on rural communities and farmers that are struggling to cope with high debt levels and three seasons of a low payout.
Over 46,000 New Zealanders have missed out on employer contributions to their KiwiSaver accounts, but the Revenue Minister refuses to chase up the millions of dollars which is outstanding, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“KiwiSaver has been an extremely popular legacy of the last Labour Government, despite the Government gradually eroding it. Hard-working New Zealanders put their money in and expect it to be matched by their employer.
New warnings of a global recession places the spotlight on New Zealand’s $67b net debt, leaving the economy in a much worse state than before the 2008 downturn when net debt was zero, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“Despite claiming the figleaf of fiscal responsibility the latest government accounts show that National has racked up over $67b in net debt. With Citigroup warning of a global recession that level of debt will be an albatross around the neck of the government if the downturn occurs.
“The Pasifika and Future of Work paper released today shows Pacific people have real opportunities but also challenges in the coming years as the nature of work changes,” says Grant Robertson, Chair of Labour’s Future of Work Commission.
Despite admitting global economic conditions are worsening, Bill English is seemingly unwilling to do anything to prepare the economy from outside shocks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“At Select Committee today Bill English said ‘there’s no reason to change policy’ even though he conceded that there is increased concern about the state of the global economy.
The Government must not become complacent about a fall in the unemployment rate given the Reserve Bank Governor’s warning of increasing global uncertainty in 2016 and a plunge in dairy prices yet again, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“This year has started off in a volatile fashion with stock markets diving, the global dairy price continuing to slide and Fonterra’s forecast milk payout again dropping to well below break-even point for farmers.
National must take urgent action to diversify the economy after Fonterra slashed its forecast milk solids payout in a move that will cost farmers tens of thousands of dollars this year, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“The sudden drop in forecast milk solids payout from $4.60 to $4.15 is terrible news for farmers and the regions they support.
Fitch ratings agency’s warnings of the worsening economic outlook is yet another signal that National needs to diversify the economy and take action to prepare New Zealand for a volatile year ahead, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“It hasn’t been a good start to the year for the economy. Dairy prices are sliding again, international markets have plunged and the Government’s books are heavily in the red.
Internationally renowned economists and authors Robert Reich and Guy Standing will be the keynote speakers at Labour’s Future of Work Conference in Auckland in March.
Robert Reich is a world renowned economist and former Secretary for Labour in the Bill Clinton administration. Professor Guy Standing is well known for his bestselling book The Precariat about the problems generated by uncertain work conditions.