Labour, New Zealand First and the Green party have launched a parliamentary inquiry into the manufacturing crisis.
It would be more accurate to call it a manufactured crisis because as Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce points out, the only crisis is the one they’re determined to manufacture.
“Not content to be told by nearly every mainstream economic commentator that there is no jobs crisis, manufacturing crisis, or economic crisis, opposition parties are determined to keep talking the New Zealand economy down by heading off in search of one to serve their own political ends,” Mr Joyce says.
“However, the key statistic they are complaining about is already two years out of date – with the number of manufacturing jobs actually growing over the last two years. The number of jobs in the economy overall has grown by 57,000 in the same time period.
“There is no doubt that economic conditions in the post GFC- world are challenging for some firms. The role of Government is to do things that help make firms more competitive and that is what our Business Growth Agenda is all about.
“The Government would welcome opposition support in areas that make a real difference for firms – thinks like reforming the RMA, supporting employment law changes to increase flexibility, and controlling ACC’s costs.
“If the political opposition and the EPMU were serious about jobs they would ask Forest and Bird to withdraw their objections to Bathurst Resources’ Escarpment Mine project near Westport. Doing so would create 225 new jobs on the West Coast straight away and 400 over time.
“Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First can’t have it both ways. They can’t on one hand moan about job losses and then on the other not support initiatives that would create the sort of jobs that they’re asking for.
“Rather than supporting Government initiatives to grow the economy, this unholy alliance just wants to reheat their failed election policies, albeit with one addition – getting out the printing presses and printing money.”
The global economy is stormy but in spite of that the New Zealand economy is growing, albeit not as fast as most of us would like it to.
However, these three parties which are manufacturing a crisis are also the ones which aren’t supporting initiatives that would foster growth and create more jobs.