Duncan Garner: Business community not liking Government's confused economic agenda

Opinion 06/08/2019

I want to liken the economy to the old "touch, pause, engage" part of the All Blacks scrum.

Weird I know, but hear me out.

We've done the touch bit and now we've paused to check out what's ahead and, like the French scrum, who really knows what will turn up. How hard will the hit be, will we collapse or just get a sore head?

Right now we live in uncertain times.

A world battling with itself - some call it grumpy growth - the banks are hanging onto their money under instruction. Try getting a loan right now - not easy.

But money being pushed into the economy is crucial. It gives momentum and if the banks hang on to their stash, what's the government doing to push along momentum?

How much new money is entering the economy? Not much if you look at the last Budget figures, which are largely irrelevant now given these rapidly changing times. 

What about the OCR, the rate at which mortgages are set. It's expected to be cut and cut again.

That's a real sign of how vulnerable the economy is and how weak the outlook is.

Cutting interest rates twice more might be good for mortgage holders, although even that's debatable given most mortgages are fixed. But it's awful for investors who want returns. 

Think this doesn't affect you? It truly does. Do you work? Yes - well unemployment is likely to rise and people are expected to lose jobs and or not be hired for the new one.

So how is this Government placed to weather the storm? Well, the good news is we've got a pretty resilient economy. There is money there - but it's an inexperienced bunch running the show. That's partly why we are in this situation too. Business confidence seriously affects things, and businesses have blinked, they don't like this Government, they don't want confused and muddled thoughts.

Capital gains tax, no capital gains tax. Oil and gas, no oil and gas.

Stab in the dark, guess work, dressed up as policy.

So if it gets bad, what is the Prime Minister's plan? What does Grant Robertson do? Do you stimulate the economy and how?

They need to be sitting down with Treasury and the business community and coming up with a plan. John Key had the nine-day fortnight and a cycleway.

Not sure that's the silver bullet this time round, but what's this mob's plan?

Duncan Garner is the host of The AM Show.