Stuart Nash put Bill English’s feet to the fire yesterday on his economic record. English has been claiming that the economy is in better shape to withstand another economic crisis than it was in 2008. Does anyone seriously believe that? We’re poorer, we’re more indebted, we’re less employed, and costs are higher.
Nash pointed out the following sobering facts:
- When National came to office net government debt was 1% of GDP. It’s now 20%.
- National has borrowed $36 billion in two and a half years. That’s $55 million per weekday.
- The government’s credit rating is now on negative outlook. It’s the first time since 1998 we’ve been on negative outlook.
- GDP per capita has fallen 2% since National came to power. Remember, the recession officially ended in March 2009 – the first quarter National was in power.
To those facts you could add the following:
- There are still quarter of a million jobless.
- Unemployment remains at 6.5%, whereas Labour kept it under 4%.
- There are 3 times as many people on the dole now as when National came to power.
- Emigration to Australia is at record levels.
- Inflation is running at 5.3% while wages are rising at 1.9%.
- Business credit has fallen by 10% while mortgage debt has risen 6%.
- the median household income has fallen 2%. For Maori,the fall is 8%, and Pacific Islanders 16%.
Anyone who says the economy is better now and we’re better placed to withstand another financial crisis when it’s clear we’re not even back on our feet since the first one is either naive or lying.