Paul Goldsmith: A vote of no confidence in the Government

Opinion 05/07/2019

By Paul Goldsmith, National Party Finance spokesperson.

Business confidence is the lowest we’ve seen in ten years. The last time it was this low, we were in the depths of the Global Financial Crisis.

The Government has repeatedly said that it’s because of global headwinds. Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern are blaming Iran, China and Donald Trump.

They’re blaming everyone but themselves and that’s just not credible.

This Government’s poor policy making decisions mean businesses no longer have the confidence to invest, take chances and employ more people. It means fewer jobs for New Zealanders.

And why would businesses be confident? This is a Government that banned oil and gas exploration at the drop of a hat, even though it won’t reduce emissions. It’s a Government that has introduced more than 250 working groups including the prospect of a Capital Gains Tax, because it can’t seem to make decisions for itself. It’s a Government that has introduced a raft of union-friendly industrial laws that make it harder for businesses to employ people.

According the NZIER business confidence survey business confidence is now net negative 31 per cent. In 2015 when Grant Robertson was in Opposition he put out a media release when business confidence reached net nine per cent negative which said “This is a vote of no confidence in the government by the business sector. While businesses may back their own company, they clearly aren’t backing National to pull the economy out of its slump.”

Well how on earth does he think businesses feel now?

If this latest business confidence survey isn’t a vote of no confidence in his Government, then I don’t know what is.

In Australia low and middle income workers have just been given tax relief of just over $1000 for the average worker.

Australia’s Government made relief for hardworking taxpayers its first priority after the election. The legislation will pass through the Senate today. Our Government’s first priority was cancelling our tax relief package.

“A National Government would link income tax brackets to inflation as a priority, ensuring income taxes are adjusted every three years in line with the cost of living and allowing New Zealanders to keep more of what they earn.

National believes New Zealanders deserve to keep more of what they earn. If the Government focussed on making good policies then business confidence would improve and it would be more likely that families could keep more of their own money.

To use Grant Robertson’s own words businesses aren’t backing Labour to pull the economy out of its slump.

Paul Goldsmith is the National Party Finance spokesperson.