National scores a fail in economics as unemployment rises

The extra 11,000 Kiwis now out of work as a result of National’s economic mismanagement shows the Government’s plan is not working for all New Zealanders, the Green Party says.

The September quarter Labour Market Statistics show unemployment up to six percent, or 151,000 people, today.

“The unemployment rate was 4.6% when the National Government came to power. Seven years under its watch has seen unemployment rise to 6.0%,” said Green Party Co-Leader James Shaw.

“However you assess it, that’s a huge failure for those New Zealanders wanting work, and the rest of us who rely on the economy to do well.

“Sitting on its hands and relying on the Christchurch rebuild, immigration, dairy intensification and extractive industries, was never going to get New Zealanders back into work.

“New Zealand needs smart policies that stimulate the economy and create the jobs people want.

“Working to clean up our rivers and expanding forestry would boost regional employment and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

“Revamping our cold, damp housing stock with insulation and rooftop solar creates lots of jobs, cuts household energy bills and improves public health.

“Investing in public transport creates more jobs both in initial construction and ongoing usage and maintenance than roads do.

“We should be starting a Green Investment Bank and developing better infrastructure for high-value, clean-tech export industries.

“Smart policies like these will get New Zealanders back into work.                                                         

“Instead this Government has messed with the welfare system, making cancer patients run around applying for jobs, while things are getting worse.

“The low carbon economy is where jobs and growth are strongest globally, but National continues to put all its eggs in the dairy basket rather than look to long term sustainable jobs Kiwis want.

“There are any number of policies that can help increase employment. National’s decision hasn’t been to just take its hands off the steering wheel; they’ve opened the door and exited a moving car.

“National praying for a dairy price increase or a big oil strike somewhere will only continue its woeful record of high unemployment,” said Mr Shaw.