Govt books getting worse as economy slows

National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by improving the economy. It has been six years in government and more than three years since the financial crisis ended and they still haven’t run a surplus.
“National is running out of excuses.
“The drop in GST and the warning of a fall in total tax take shows what happens when the economy is unbalanced – typical New Zealanders can’t get ahead. At the same time the huge salary increases of the power companies’ chief executives – arrogantly defended by the Government – are completely out of whack with the meagre pay rises of most Kiwis.

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Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify

The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker.
“Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February. This is bad news that will have knock-on effects for the rest of the economy.
“The figures speak for themselves. Other industries such as export manufacturing are in relative decline. Commentators report that the dairy industry faces a prolonged downturn with other countries now producing their own milk powder leading towards a global surplus.
“Economic commentators have said that National’s weakness is not addressing the long-term challenges we face. These are problems that won’t go away,” says David Parker.

2 October 2014                                                           MEDIA STATEMENT


Exports in permanent decline under National

Exports under National are in permanent decline – a result that causes long-term damage to our country’s wealth and makes Bill English’s admission that he has no new ideas all the more serious, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.
“National promised that exports as a percentage of GDP would increase from 33 per cent to 40 per cent under its watch. The opposite is happening. Exports have declined to 29 per cent and will drop even further to 26 per cent.
“This is despite the strongest terms of trade in a generation.
“That is the real story of National’s economic management. As a nation we are going backwards. The way to increase our wealth is to export more to our trading partners. That will lead to better jobs with higher wages.
“That won’t happen under National. Bill English admitted on The Nation he has no new ideas to turn around the economy. That’s worth showing again.
Lisa Owen: Mr English, I’m going to give you one last chance, Mr English. Have you got a new idea to boost our economy?
English: We want to keep going in the direction we’re going.
“It isn’t working. Labour has a real plan to boost exports. Our Economic Upgrade will focus on investment, innovation and industry to support exporting businesses.
“We will boost investment through making KiwiSaver universal to increase our national investment pool and use our capital gains tax to ensure that money goes into productive businesses.

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Fed Farmers is just plain wrong on CGT

Federated Farmers has deliberately played politics with Labour’s capital gains tax by delaying the release of an incorrect report they have had since June to just a week before the election, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“It’s clear that this is an orchestrated attack. Federated Farmers sat on their June report and released it at the same time as National’s attack on our CGT.
“Federated Farmers is just plain wrong. Yesterday I wrote to NZIER showing errors in the report. Further errors have been identified by BERL overnight. Federated Farmers should admit their errors and print a correction.
The report they rely on has two fundamental errors.
·         The report asserts that based on the Australian CGT (which has a different headline rate) the CGT revenue estimates for New Zealand are too high. This is incorrect because, in Australia individuals and small businesses are taxed on just half the capital gain. In New Zealand the whole gain (from the date of introduction) is taxed at the lower 15% rate.
·         The report mistakenly underestimates capital gains because it does not properly calculate all realised gains after the date of introduction. It wrongly focuses on the gain in the year of sale.

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Bill English was right the first time on tax cuts

Bill English was right the first time when he stifled John Key’s dangle of vague tax cut promises, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.
“Bill English said before the PREFU that tax cuts weren’t affordable and John Key seemed to accept that, albeit reluctantly.
“Now the PREFU has shown a downturn in growth and tax revenues. The forecast budget surplus under National is forecast to be $500 million a year lower. Tax cuts on the Government’s own figures are even less affordable.
“It’s hard to escape the view that this latest dance is because of the fallout from the stain on John Key’s reputation, caused by the involvement of his office and Judith Collins with Whale Oil. Mr Key is now trying to resurrect his campaign using vague promises of unspecified future tax cuts.
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Labour will keep Kiwi land in Kiwi hands

The next Labour Government will keep rural and residential land in Kiwi hands, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.
“New Zealanders are sick of seeing their farms and homes sold to overseas buyers with the profits and opportunities going offshore. No overseas person has the right to buy our land.
“In all but the rarest of cases, sales of rural land to overseas buyers will be banned. Non-resident investors will also be banned from buying existing Kiwi homes.
“Changing who owns what already exists does nothing to increase New Zealand’s output. It just sells off New Zealand’s profit stream and kills off the Kiwi dream of owning our farms and homes.
“Labour will reverse the current approach so that overseas buyers of rural land will have to prove they will create more jobs and exports than any New Zealand investor. Given New Zealanders are among the best farmers in the world it is an extremely hard hurdle to get over.
“This will ensure our farms are not priced out of the reach of New Zealanders.
“We will also limit the discretion of the minister to ignore recommendations from the Overseas Investment Office.
“Labour will also restrict sales of residential homes to any non-residents unless they intend to move here, helping to keep the Kiwi home ownership dream alive, especially for young New Zealanders currently locked out of the housing market.
“The National Government is ignoring the legitimate concerns of New Zealanders about New Zealand land and houses being sold to overseas interests.
“Instead of accusing New Zealanders of being xenophobic, John Key and Steven Joyce should respect New Zealanders’ desire to keep New Zealand land in New Zealand hands,” David Parker says.
4 August 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT


Joyce’s bluster distraction from land sale double-speak

Steven Joyce’s accusation that Labour is xenophobic is a blatant attempt to hide National’s broken promise over land sales, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.

“The Economic Development Minister showed extreme rudeness when he talked over others during an interview on the Nation this weekend.

“Election time is a time for debating issues, rather than veiled accusations of racism.

“His belligerent blustering behaviour was designed to hide the fact National promised to tighten up on land sales at the time of the Crafar farm sales. But in reality it hasn’t.

“New Zealanders do not like this sort of double-speak from politicians, and Steven Joyce knows it.

“Labour changed our position on land sales to foreigners four years ago because we believe it is the birth right of New Zealanders – not others – to own our land and houses.

“National needs to answer the following questions:

· Is it xenophobic or racist to say land ownership in New Zealand is the birth right of New Zealanders, not others?

· Is it xenophobic or racist to worry about wealthy foreign buyers buying large tracts of New Zealand land?

· Is it xenophobic or racist to point out that the sale of our forests to overseas owners has resulted in more raw log exports, less processing, lower valued exports and fewer jobs in New Zealand?

· Is it xenophobic or racist to object to overseas ownership of our houses when home ownership is at its lowest rate in 50 years and still dropping?

· Is the Australian government xenophobic or racist to clamp down on house sales to foreigners?

· Is it xenophobic or racist for the Chinese government to stop New Zealanders buying their land?

· Is it xenophobic or racist to worry that New Zealand properties are increasingly being marketed overseas?

· Is it xenophobic or racist to say land should be priced so that New Zealanders can buy it, and not be outbid by wealthy overseas buyers?

“Labour has criticised the sale of farms and houses to American, European and Asian buyers. It is not racist or xenophobic to do so.

“Responsible governments act in the interests of all New Zealanders, not just the privileged few.

“Under Labour’s policy the proposed sale of Lochinver Station to overseas buyers would not proceed,” David Parker says.

3 August 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT