The manufacturing sector is struggling under National as new figures show manufacturing company closures have outnumbered start-ups for the fifth year in a row, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“The new Business Demography statistics show that the number of manufacturing start-ups has dropped by a quarter in five years, from over 2000 in 2008 to 1451 in 2013 – the lowest number since this series began.
“Manufacturing closures outnumbered start-ups by more than 300 this year. Manufacturing exports have fallen 10 per cent in real terms in the last year and 19 per cent in real terms since 2008.
“Respected international manufacturing economist Goran Roos will be speaking on these issues this weekend.
“New Zealand manufacturers are suffering under National’s two-speed economy. They are being pushed to the brink while speculators flourish. We need an economy that produces high quality exports, not the speculator’s paradise National has produced.
“National’s two speed economy is increasing our economic reliance on primary production. Processed primary manufacturing exports in real terms have increased by 13 per cent since 2008 while overall manufacturing exports have declined by 19 per cent.
“Yet Bill English says, ‘Manufacturing and exports both have been growing’.
“Mr English is completely out of touch. Outside of construction for the rebuild of Christchurch manufacturing is in serious decline.
“That’s why Labour and other opposition parties established the Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing. Its three key recommendations of supporting business through procurement, making our currency more competitive and supporting research and development have the buy-in of many manufacturing businesses.
“The Government glosses over the problems, Labour is offering solutions,” says David Parker.
30 October 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT