National’s economic report card fail

Written By: - Date published: 2:52 pm, April 18th, 2017 - 18 comments
Categories: economy, national, useless - Tags: , , ,

Though artificially boosted by high immigration and disaster rebuilds, the NZ economy is in the doldrums, and National are a failure even by their own goals and targets:

MBIE failing to meet self-imposed targets

The government department charged with growing the economy, the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), isn’t sure if it will hit the goals it set itself when it was created five years ago.

MBIE admits it has got a fair way to go before it even gets close to achieving its primary objectives.

When it was formed in 2012, the ministry set itself goals including making housing more affordable, lifting household incomes, getting unemployment below 4 percent and increasing exports to 40 percent of GDP by 2025.

But five years later, the ministry still was not sure if it would hit any of its targets.

I predict that National will soon abolish all targets, and that this will be “a sign of our success” (slightly facetious, but only slightly). In more of the same news last month:

NZ economy records weakest growth since start of 2015

New Zealand’s economy appears to be slowing, with the weakest quarter of growth in almost two years announced as earlier quarters were revised downwards.

On Thursday Statistics New Zealand said that in the final three months of 2016 the economy expanded by 0.4 per cent, below the 0.7 per cent predicted by market economists and the slowest quarter of growth since the start of 2015.

It came as Statistics New Zealand said that it now believed the economy grew by 0.8 per cent in the September quarter, revising the original estimate down from 1.1 per cent. Annual growth fell to 2.7 per cent.

The figures come at a time when New Zealand’s population is growing at more than 2 per cent per annum, driven mainly by record inward net migration of more than 70,000 people a year.

On a population basis, the economy grew only 0.5 per cent per capita, and declined slightly in the final three months of the year, First New Zealand Capital economist Chris Green said. …

Further reading:
Weak end to 2016 could mark a cooling of NZ’s economy
New Zealand Economy Grows Less Than Forecast; Kiwi Drops
Economy at mercy of Auckland housing – manufacturer

Just to be clear, I think that “growth” is entirely the wrong measure of economic success, and that we need to be aiming for sustainability. But in terms of National’s competence as a government, even by the conventional goals that they have set for themselves, they are failures.

18 comments on “National’s economic report card fail”

  1. Gosman 1

    This just goes to show how ridiculous it is for Government to set targets. Some of the targets are absolutely pointless anyway. Why should we care if Exports are 40% of the economy? We are not some sort of Soviet command economy whereby we assess the success or otherwise via outcomes of 5 year plans set by the State.

    • ropata 1.1

      Yes, I agree. Bill English was a crap Finance Minister who set the wrong goals for the NZ economy.

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        Given this was MBIE it was more likely Stephen Joyce than Bill English who was involved.

    • Keith 1.2

      But isn’t it a vote winner to look all aspirational. Saying it, is as good as it happening.
      It sets this positive tone that everything is absolutely positively do-able that can be dined out on for months if not years. What is real anymore?

      Again its like Nationals old favourite we are spending x million on this area, (but it starts sometime in the next 2 or 3 years but only if many qualifiers are met and the sum is split over years and years after that).

      As is their equally ridiculous targets decades into the future need to stop, (Pest free 2050, reduced carbon emissions by 2090 or whatever it is, Light rail to Auckland Airport by 2047, clean water, lol, by 2040). Why, because at best they are wantonly misleading and at worst pure lies.

  2. Tory song ,I’m walking backwards for Christmas.

  3. ropata 3

    Are the Nats beginning to be disillusioned with the neoliberal mantra of infinite growth? It’s already been discredited worldwide, but NZ and Australia have been insulated from the worst of the GFC, until now.

  4. Skeptic 4

    None of this should be a surprise to Standardists. We all know the short-comings and underlying problems that beset both the MBIE in particular and the economy in general. The heart of these problems is the underlying fixation of this government with neo-liberal, market economics – driven by Chicago School Economists that pollute Treasury and the Reserve Bank. Until this underlying fixation is purged – along with its proponents – NZ will continue to be a slowly disintegrating society.

    Its symptoms include hyper-inflated housing market, barely subsistence minimum wages for nearly 50% of workers and just over livable wage for another 25%, while the top 2% increase their wealth at the expense of the rest of us. A Public Service that pretends to be “business units” while being starved of funding to do what’s required to provide their services, a health sector that’s being privatised by stealth, an education sector that is rapidly becoming run-down for 90% while the top 10% cream off the lions share, a welfare system that’s being marginalised and denigrated at every opportunity, a political system that the young have largely given up on – these are all evidence of predictions made in the early 1980s when Rogernomics was introduced.

    Unfortunately, there has been two generations grow up knowing nothing else and are bombarded with consumerism and a media driven mania for “keeping up with the Kardasians”. Sport and gossip/celebrities are the new “religions” and “opiates of the masses”, so are we really all that surprised when it all turns to shit and nobody but we happy few know what’s really going on? The few young people who do take an interest are rapidly disillusioned at the existing parties of the left who seems to favour a “gradual approach” to righting a few of the wrongs at a time, while putting up with the status quo meantime.

    My fear is that things are going to get worse – a lot bloody worse – before we get a government that really shakes things up and cuts out the rot – root, branch and leaf.
    If we wish to set NZ back on track toward a caring, fair and just society where wealth and income are reasonably equitable, there can be no half measures – every one of those Chicago School economists needs to be rooted out and fired – en masse – then replaced with Keynesian economists along with a comprehensive plan for nationalisation of all strategic assets and public services.

    I work and have worked with ordinary young workers – most of whom are on the minimum wage despite contributing hugely to the rebuilds (tradies and labourers) and general up-keep of establishments (cleaners and aides). They all ask the same questions. When are we going to get a government that forces the employers to pay a livable wage and debars them from the privilege of employing people if they don’t? When are we going to get a health and dental system that really services the public and not some overseas MNC. When are we going to get a government that uses regulation to force rental housing standards up to the WOF recommended years ago and peg rents to 25% of wages. When are we going to get a government that slams in a harsh CGT, punitively taxes the speculator and regulates building costs so affordable housing really does become achievable.

    These are questions and demands I’ve been hearing from ordinary young people who are fed up with the current system and do have some ideas about what’s needed. Not so strangely, I refer them here and tell them to get involved – it’s their world and country too – if they really want change, then they’ll have to get on their hind legs and fight for it like their ancestors did. In short – I pass the torch whenever and wherever I can. Hopefully, a few of them are angry enough to do so.

    • Red 4.1

      Who are these young people you talk to, or are you just making stuff up, I can’t say I have heard the same conversations to any great degree beyond sad political junky lefties living in the past,may be you just hear what you want to hear and close out anything to the contrary or simply don’t get out enough

    • ropata 4.2

      +1 excellent points Skeptic. Obviously “Red” has no clue about doing an honest day’s work, or the thousands of working people struggling to make ends meet.

      We need to restore overtime and penalty rates for all waged workers, and fix up the stupid SOE model and KPI’s for our public sector. The free market model has failed, NZ needs to retrench and resile from this free trade, low wage race to the bottom. It is destroying workers and ruining the environment. These rogue corporations and banks and exploitative industries must be brought to heel.

      The Left must repudiate Rogernomics and its gross inequities, else we are heading for a dark place as a society. There is already a sub culture of the disaffected that has no stake in the future of NZ, do we really want more of the same?

      • Skeptic 4.2.1

        Nah he’s just a RWNJ troll – ignore him and whatever you do don’t answer him – send him to electronic Coventry

  5. bearded git 5

    I was fuming an hour ago when health minister Coleman claimed the $2 billion settlement for the rest home people was only possible due to the government getting the books into order. So it is ok for people to live in poverty while this government gives tax cuts to the rich but when the unions win a living wage settlement in the Supreme Court with precious little help from this government they then try to claim credit for it. John Campbell was boggled by this.

    • srylands 5.1

      What tax cuts are these?

    • mosa 5.2

      Totally agree b.g.

      They never balanced the books it was all a mirage as they has to steal money from other areas to achieve a surplus.

      And the money for the privileged tax cuts was borrowed and has to be repaid by the financially enslaved in this country long after these criminals have left office.

      Great settlement for these workers and thoroughly deserved.

    • Nic the NZer 5.3

      Well that truely is boggling and just goes to show Coleman is incompetent as a minister. He appears not to understand bond markets have no influence on the governments budgeting process at all, certainly didnt influence the courts decision and didn’t influence the statutes relation to rest home workers.

  6. Nic the NZer 6

    Be careful which goals are retained and which shelved. Getting exports to 40% of GDP is clearly going to make it difficult to have unemployment down and incomes up (because both grow GDP). The simplest way to achieve that would be to crater the economy so GDP (and incomes and employment) shrinks and then cross fingers demand for NZ exports is still there. Its almost totally out of MBIE control (depends what happens overseas mostly) so its a pretty dumb goal for it to adopt.

  7. Ad 7

    Even MED had more focus.

    Apart from earthquake interventions, the biggest hits for shifting wealth the right way have been the benefit lifts, today’s healthcare pay lift, and Sky City Convention Centre.

    MBIE’s role pretty limited in all of them. Its Joyce’s empire of sand.

  8. Antoine 8

    What this mainly shows is that Joyce is a bit of an idiot

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