The National Party is a downright irresponsible manager of New Zealand’s economy.
John Key inherited from Labour one of the lowest unemployment rates in the developed world. This Prime Minister promised to create 170,000 new jobs, but instead we have 175,000 looking for work.
Overall unemployment is up to an horrific 7.3%. That’s the worst rate in 13 years – and guess which party was in government the last time things were this bad.
What’s worse is when you drill down into the detail. It’s much worse.
Auckland’s unemployment rate is up to 8.6% at the exact same time as tax-driven property speculation pushes house prices hundreds of thousands of dollars beyond what ordinary families can afford.
In the Hawkes Bay unemployment is now 8.9%. Like the Bay of Plenty and Southland, the Hawkes Bay has thousands of conscientious Kiwis who want to work but who have been completely disappointed and let down by their government.
What really worries me, though, is the youth unemployment rate for 15 to 19 year olds. It’s now 25%! What sort of New Zealand can we expect if one in four of our kids have no hope of even getting a job? Our young people will give up and leave for Australia, like so many of their peers before them. The few who stay will never know an affordable education, or a sustainable public health system, or a livable pension. It’s so unfair to our children.
Earlier this week I wrote about just one element of Labour’s plans to turn this mess around, the importance of pro-growth tax reform. The global orthodoxy has changed and big discussions are happening in economics. Labour is fully engaged in the discussions and we’re energised too. Kiwis need us to be.
But National MPs are as “relaxed” as ever while our beautiful country collapses. They should feel nothing but shame for their government’s record.
There is one thing all Kiwis can do to fight back. In 2014 New Zealand will have a general election. The people can show 59 National MPs just what a scourge unemployment is.
Please join the Labour Party. Give hope to our young people. Help put New Zealand’s best days ahead of us again.