It’s time for John Key and Bill English to get more pointy-headed as they don’t appear to grasp the serious impacts our current account deficit of $9.1 billion and net international liabilities of $151 billion have on the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“The balance of payments released today shows that the current account deficit is at 4.3 per cent of GDP and our net international liabilities position is 71 per cent of GDP. That has a serious impact on the jobs and investment New Zealand needs to provide the opportunities and higher wages New Zealanders need.
“Bill English and John Key repeatedly sweep these figures under the carpet. These are two of the most important indicators of our economy. Ignoring them is economic negligence and is wasting opportunities for New Zealanders.
“If they think it’s too pointy-headed to matter they are wrong. I understand it and I’ll lay it out for them.
“A current account deficit is quite simple. It shows that we earn less from our exports than we spend on our imports and interest. That means as a country we are losing money and becoming more indebted to foreign lenders. Our interest bill and dividends paid overseas add up and the spiral continues.
“Any family that gets into too much debt understands that, in the end, you have to pay it off. As a country it means land and companies are sold overseas, jobs are cut and wages stagnate.
“I won’t stand for that. Labour will rebalance the economy so New Zealand is once more a country that sells more overseas than it buys. That’s the true path to a wealthy nation.
“Bill English and John Key are not being pointy-headed enough. We need smart, new ideas to transform our economy. Labour has them. That’s not being pointy-headed, it’s being smart,” says David Parker.
18 September 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT