New Zealand First says today’s Treasury forecast paints a black future of increasing unemployment, a rise in social welfare spending, more public sector cuts, and an economy floundering under a high exchange rate and rising energy costs.
Rt Hon Winston Peters says the forecast should be taken as a warning by New Zealanders that National intends 2013 to be a year of pain.
“Behind National’s pretence that it can create an operating surplus by 2015 sits the uncomfortable truth that ordinary New Zealanders will be the ones who pay the price.
“More people will lose their jobs – particularly in the manufacturing sector which is hamstrung by the exorbitantly high New Zealand dollar – but also those working in the public service which is being hollowed out.
“More people will be reliant on social assistance grants which are forecast to rise by more than $3 billion a year by 2017.
“And more people will give up on the country to head across the Tasman to start a new life in Australia.”
Mr Peters says the pain will be felt to the backdrop of the Government’s flawed asset sales programme.
“The Government expects to flog off four state owned assets – assets that are already owned by all New Zealanders – for $7 billion.
“These power company assets will end up in the hands of foreign investors who will take massive profits out of the country as New Zealanders pay more for electricity.
“By anyone’s estimation, this Treasury forecast puts a real dampener on the Christmas spirit.
This Treasury update, as we have long predicted, has the Government whistling in the wind to the wrong economic tune with a chorus of blaming everyone and everything else except their naked blundering incompetence,” says Mr Peters.