Unemployment and housing crisis trump Crown accounts

The Government’s financial update today shows its focus on maintaining a wafer-thin surplus has come at the expense of real ideas about how to tackle the big economic problems we face, like child poverty, unemployment, and the housing crisis, the Green Party said.

Government Financial Statements for the nine months to 31 March 2016, the last update before the Budget on 26 May, showed a modest $167 million operating balance before gains and losses and net government debt of $63.3 billion.

“While the Government’s accounts are important, what’s far more meaningful to New Zealanders is that unemployment has risen to 144,000 people and median Auckland house prices are now almost ten times the median household income,” Green Party finance spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said.

“The Government’s books are marginally in surplus this month because of delays to expected spending on things like Christchurch rebuild anchor projects and Treaty of Waitangi settlements, not because of any particularly amazing economic management.

“The Crown accounts move around from month to month but what’s important in the long term is that after eight years, National hasn’t built an economy that is actually overcoming the problems we face as a country, like the housing crisis and child poverty.

“Rising unemployment and a huge housing crisis are signs of a Government that has lost control of the economy and run out of new ideas.

“Per capita GDP is barely growing at all – our economy is only growing because we’re getting more people in the country, not because we’re doing things smarter or producing more efficiently.

“The Government could put our economy on the right track by investing in job creation in clean technology industries, supporting diversification and R&D, building affordable housing, and encouraging people to invest in productive businesses rather than houses,” said Ms Genter.

Latest Finance Announcements

Story

Economic windfall should be funnelled straight back into communities: Green Party

Following an economic forecast that shows Aotearoa strongly rebounding from COVID-19, and Crown accounts looking much healthier than expected, the ...
Read More

Story

Green Party to abstain from tax changes that will worsen house crisis in absence of tax on assets

The Green Party will abstain from a bill that will make slight changes to income tax brackets.
Read More

Story

Green Party welcome Adrian Orr’s full and frank advice on tax

We welcome Adrian Orr signalling that he will provide advice to the Finance Minister on fiscal measures, include tax changes, to cool the housing m...
Read More

Story

Green Party respond to Government review of housing settings

It is a positive step that the Government is looking at options to take the heat out of the housing market, and has written to the Reserve Bank to ...
Read More

Story

Reserve Bank policies will inevitably heat housing market, Government must implement tax reform to cool it down

The Government must use levers to prevent further over-heating of the housing market, which will result from the Reserve Bank pumping another $28 b...
Read More

Story

No surprise in National’s latest attempt to slash public services

National’s ‘alternative budget’ that includes huge cuts to the government’s operating allowance would risk gutting critical public services, and pu...
Read More