Interest rate rise will hit the regions

The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.

“The regions are already hit by dropping export prices for dairy products and timber prices plus they have flat housing markets from LVRs . Now they have to endure another interest rate rise which is a direct result of the Auckland housing price bubble.

““The Reserve Bank Governor has already said mortgage interest rates will get close to 7% by the end of the year, adding $233 to monthly costs on a $300,000 mortgage.
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Government has no solutions to tackle risks to economy

The National Government has no solutions to tackle the serious risks to the economy identified by the Reserve Bank today, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.
“Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler this morning highlighted falling dairy prices, declining log exports, strong immigration and high house price inflation as factors threatening the economic recovery. The Governor also noted that the exchange rate was at an unsustainable level.
“The quarter-point rise in the Official Cash Rate to 3.25 per cent means mortgage interest rates are well on their way towards 9 per cent.
“These pressures will add to the increasing cost of living. Kiwis know times are tough when 46 per cent of working New Zealanders have had no increase in their wage rate in the past year.
“National’s tool box is empty.
“Conversely, Labour has ideas to curb all these risks.
“Interest rates are going up because house prices are out of control in Auckland. Continue reading


Lower interest rates, a more competitive dollar and better jobs from Reserve Bank changes

Labour’s Reserve Bank Upgrade will lead to lower interest rates, a more competitive dollar and better jobs with higher wages, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.

“The next Labour Government will upgrade the Reserve Bank Act by broadening its objective and giving it a new tool that will enable it to tackle our high overvalued dollar, help create jobs and keep interest rates low.

“Governments around the world have changed how they operate monetary policy since the global financial crisis. New Zealanders have a dollar overvalued by up to 15 per cent, a weakened export sector and mortgage rates that are among the highest in the developed world.

“Labour will make the following changes to the Reserve Bank Act as part of our Economic Upgrade:

1) Broaden the Reserve Bank’s objective beyond inflation and price stability to also assist to achieve a positive national external balance, which will boost economic growth and create more jobs.

2) Encourage the Bank to use its current tools differently, in a way that will help exporters and home owners.

3) Introduce a new tool – a variable savings rate or VSR – allowing the Bank to vary KiwiSaver savings rates (which would be universal under Labour) as an alternative to raising the OCR to take the heat out of the economy. This VSR would mean Kiwis would pay money to their retirement savings instead of higher mortgage payments to overseas banks.

“The independence of the Reserve Bank, and its ability to meet its inflation control target, are maintained.

“Labour’s changes will work with our Economic Upgrade focussing on investment, innovation and industry policies.

Alongside a capital gains tax, our KiwiBuild housing policy, universal KiwiSaver and reduced costs to businesses through NZ Power, Labour is offering an alternative that will help Kiwi families and ensure our economy can create better jobs and higher wages,” says David Parker.

29 April 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT


Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing

Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.

“New Zealanders understand the need to keep inflation under control, but will be uneasy about their mortgage costs increasing to offset higher taxes on cigarettes most of them don’t smoke.

“Interest rates are lifted to see off forecast inflation.

“Interest rate increases hurt homeowners and businesses. New Zealand interest rates are already higher than in most of our competitor countries. Recent and forecast rises towards eight per cent make this difference worse.

16 April 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT

“This difference will put even more upward pressure on our exchange rate at the expense of jobs and investment in the export sector.

“Labour’s response to this dilemma will be released on 29 April,” says David Parker.


Tax and spend Nats push up interest rates

National has changed its colours and become the real tax and spend party but is trying to hide the truth through suspect accounting, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.

“John Key clearly enjoys testing the New Zealand public’s gullibility. Yesterday he claimed that new spending under National has risen by only $250 million each year under his Government.

“How does that explain the extra $3 billion he is spending a year on superannuation compared with five years ago as just one example?

“National is now spending 20 per cent more than the last Labour Government. Yet John Key has the gall to claim that a new Labour Government would lead to rising interest rates. The truth is Labour will run fiscal surpluses that will not put pressure on interest rates.
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