Idealog asked New Zealand Institute chief executive David Skilling why economic growth is important. He said:
It matters in terms of the quality of health, education and social services that we can afford in this country. Also, importantly, it gives a sense of confidence and momentum.
If you look across history and across countries, periods of sustained economic growth go hand in hand with improvements in welfare, better treatment of immigrants and minorities and more generous attitudes towards social and environmental issues.
And we’re losing 70,000 New Zealanders permanently each year, and we have done for quite some time.
Simple really – it’s not economic growth or social services, it’s both. We need economic growth to pay for social services.
A stronger economy sustains a better society which in turn helps the economy fuelling a virtuous cycle of head and heart.
The full interview with Skilling is on Idealog TV here.