Migration not a sustainable way to grow economy

Economic growth fuelled by high migration rates is not sustainable, the Green Party said today.

Stats NZ released Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures for the September 2015 quarter today showing that the economy expanded by 0.9 percent. When adjusted for population growth, per capita GDP for the September quarter expanded only 0.4 percent, undoing the previous two quarters of negative per capita GDP growth.

“High levels of migration are driving a lot of the current growth we’re seeing in our economy,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.

“When you look at per capita GDP, National’s economic record is not looking anywhere near as rosy.

“More people living in New Zealand leads to more consumption but that’s neither a smart nor sustainable way to grow our economy long term.

“The Treasury this week predicted already high levels of unemployment will continue to grow under the National Government, peaking at 6.5 percent next year.

“Unemployment averaged 4.6 percent under the Clark/Cullen Labour Government. Unemployment under the Key/English Government is averaging 6.3 percent and set to go higher.

“The National Government will settle for short-term growth of any kind, happy to expand polluting industries like oil mining and dairying without any kind of plan about how to pay for the long term costs these industries are causing to our air, our climate, and our fresh water.

“Not all GDP growth is necessarily good or sustainable. We should ensure polluters pay for their mess and invest in industries that are clean and sustainable.”