Slowdown in NZ economy looming

Todd Talks
with Todd Muller
National MP

Fewer jobs and opportunities are on the horizon for hardworking Kiwi families as New Zealand faces a looming slowdown in the economy.

The simple fact is this. Labour inherited an economy growing three to four per cent year-on-year, but the Government has squandered that momentum with poor policies, more taxes and wasteful spending. A weaker economy means less money in the Government coffers for core services like health and education, and less money in your back pocket. Labour’s solution? More taxes.

Westpac’s employment confidence survey shows workers are less confident, while ANZ’s business confidence survey has dropped to a net negative 38 per cent expecting the economy to deteriorate.

Businesses have become gloomier about the economy and their own prospects and the Reserve Bank now says it may cut interest rates to support an economy that is slowing considerably.

This should be a real warning sign for the Government, but they continue to dismiss evidence that their policies are putting our economy at risk.

It’s time for the Government to focus on policies that help NZ to get ahead and prosper instead of discouraging enterprise and putting roadblocks in the way of our innovators and entrepreneurs.

A case in point. The proposed Capital Gains Tax would tax people saving for their retirement, investors, small business owners, farmers and people living on lifestyle blocks. It adds to costs and hurts our economy.

In fact, tax officials advised the Government 15 months ago that our small companies, start-ups and innovators were better off without a CGT. In December 2017, Inland Revenue officials told the Government that the absence of a CGT in NZ was advantageous to start-ups.

Keeping the barriers to innovation low, and making it as easy as possible for Kiwis to start a business, create jobs, and build industries, are the pillars of growth that the government should continue to support. People who take risks with smart ideas and build something bigger than themselves shouldn’t be discouraged.

Other anti-growth policies adopted by this Government include a fees-free policy that failed to deliver any additional students; an ideologically driven ban on oil and gas exploration that fails to reduce emissions but devastates the Taranaki economy; a regional slush fund with no real accountability; higher fuel taxes, restrictions on foreign investment and introducing union-friendly labour reforms.

National has a proven track record as competent managers of the economy. We believe Kiwis should keep more of what they earn and that Government has a responsibility to spend tax dollars carefully and in a way that delivers results.


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