The lowest inflation since last century combined with rising unemployment and turbulent global markets is making a farce of monetary policy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“New Zealand’s monetary policy is outdated and not fit to handle significant changes in the economy. This year is off to a volatile start already with markets plunging across the globe and major investor uncertainty. It’s important that we have up-to-date tools to handle it.
Global dairy prices have fallen for the second time in a row and with whole milk powder down 23 per cent since October, the worrying start to the year continues, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“The global economy has had a volatile start to 2016, with markets plunging, declining confidence in China’s economy and commodity prices on the slide. New Zealand isn’t insulated from this, especially with our over-reliance on dairy.
Labour Finance Spokesperson and Chair of the Future of Work Commission Grant Robertson will travel to Paris this week to attend the OECD Future of Work Forum and to London where he will also undertake meetings and visits.
“We are at the halfway mark in terms of Labour’s Future of Work Commission, and this conference is a great opportunity to check in on the latest thinking in this area and test that against our work.
John Key and Bill English have delivered a jobless ‘recovery’ that has come and gone with unemployment expected to keep rising over the next two years Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.
“Several years after they declared the recession over, National have delivered the weakest economic recovery on record with unemployment never dropping below 5.6 per cent and wages remaining stagnant. Unemployment is now forecast to stay above 6 per cent until 2017. That means tens of thousands more Kiwis out of work.
The National Government's misguided ideological obsession with privatisation is continuing with the building of schools the latest target, despite the Serco circus this week, Grant Robertson Labour Duty Spokesperson says.
"In the wake of the failed Serco contract there might have been some hope that National would wind back their privatisation agenda, but today's announcement of the third round of private builders and managers of schools shows that they have learned nothing.
"Putting private operators in charge of managing schools undermines their wider value to the community. The experience overseas has been that private operators have charged for the use of facilities outside of school hours. Schools are often the hub of community activities and that should not be sacrificed for ideology and private profit.
Today's cut in the OCR needs to be supported with fresh ideas from the National Government to grow the economy, lower unemployment and lift incomes, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“The fall in the OCR to 2.5% matches the low point reached during the Global Financial Crisis and the Canterbury earthquakes. Bill English said last year that an increasing OCR reflected the strength of the economy. If that is the case then four cuts to the OCR in the last six months to a record low must reflect a weakening economy.
Bill English's disinterested and lacklustre performance at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning reflects National’s complacency as the New Zealand economy drifts into an economic malaise, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“Bill English today made it clear there was no sustainable surplus. With the Treasury Half Year Economic Update to be announced next week, he is softening up the public for a deficit in 2015/16. While he is wheeling out the same old excuses, a lack of growth, rising unemployment and stagnant wages are the primary reasons for the deficit.
EQC has admitted it didn’t know its full Canterbury claims liability at the same time it was reducing the Government’s ultimate liability to let Bill English scrape together a surplus, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“At the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning the Earthquake Commission acknowledged that at the end of the last financial year they had yet to finalise a policy for loss of value claims related to increased liquefaction vulnerability nor did they know the number of properties affected by increased flooding vulnerability.
Gerry Brownlee can’t get away with his usual bluff and bluster in response to Treasury’s scathing critique of the Christchurch anchor projects, Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.
“Mr Brownlee has a reputation for barging through any questions or criticisms. He’s trying to do that again today after Treasury put red ratings on the Canterbury anchor projects, meaning they may not be delivered successfully.