Treasury – the department responsible for preaching fiscal prudence – has breached its staff cap by 64 full time equivalent staff and now pays almost 50 people over $180,000, Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.
“Figures from Treasury’s annual review show the department needs to put its own house in order before lecturing New Zealanders and other departments about spending restraint.
New Zealand is now 15th in the OCED for unemployment – a big drop from first ten years ago, Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.
“Our current OECD ranking is the equal worst we have had since the 1990s. The two times we have been 15th have come under this National Government, which came to power at 10th in the developed world and hasn’t got above 9th place.
Bill English’s failure to diversify the economy or control the housing bubble is increasing the risks to financial stability identified by the Reserve Bank Governor today, Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.
“Graeme Wheeler must be getting sick of sounding like a broken record. In each recent financial stability report he says risks from the dairy and housing sectors are increasing. But each time Bill English ignores him.
Today’s significant drop in the global dairy price shows National needs to stop sitting on its hands and come up with a plan to diversify the economy, Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.
“Despite Fonterra putting less product up for sale – as it has done in better recent auctions – prices have fallen significantly. With Europe increasing its production levels there’s little chance of a major recovery for the rest of the year.
EQC’s annual accounts raise serious questions for the Government about how they have appeared to reach a Budget surplus by reducing EQC’s estimated liability in Canterbury by nearly $500m, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“The Government has been crowing about its wafer thin surplus, but reducing EQC’s estimated liability for the Canterbury earthquakes might leave the taxpayer exposed to future costs.
The dilemma faced by the Reserve Bank Governor in setting the official cash rate highlights the need to broaden the objectives of the bank to put jobs and the overall well-being of the economy at the heart of its mandate, Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.
“Commentators are in agreement that the Graeme Wheeler is likely to leave the official cash rate where it is tomorrow. On the basis of his current mandate that may well be justified, but with unemployment still too high the narrowness of that mandate has to be addressed.
The same bank that labelled the New Zealand economy a rock star last year has now put New Zealand on risk watch – a striking failure of economic management from National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.
“This is a dramatic fall from grace. New Zealand is now labelled ‘one to watch’ for a possible downturn in HSBC’s latest Macro Health Check.
National’s drive for surplus has meant less investment in critical areas like health, education, housing and transport – yet John Key told Parliament today he wants the money for cycleways, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.
“The Government’s belated surplus has been partly achieved by dropping spending by $235m in education, $97m on housing and community development, $52m in health and over $300m on transport and communications.