We have been saying it for over a year now; we are in trouble economically. When a bunch of inept politicians get into government, led by a prime minister who does not know what GDP is, any country is immediately in turmoil. Things were good for a while because of the excellent economic stewardship of the previous government and such things do not change overnight. Add in a few extra ingredients, such as blindsiding a profitable industry sector with no warning, and the economy is mortally wounded. It takes a while for the internal bleeding to become apparent… but it is now becoming apparent.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has come to town to tell us the bleeding obvious. Our economy has lost steam.
We have been saying this each and every month this year, and most of last year to boot. The IMF has seen what we saw a year ago: a series of policies that could lead to nothing else but a slowdown.
The reemergence of unions, through large pay claims like the teachers’ and nurses’; the Employment Relations Authority who just this week handed out living wages or higher to Mitre 10 franchisees; the spectre of fair pay agreements where entire industries get told what to pay and have no say over their own work force; a manufacturing sector that’s stalling and certain parts of it now going backwards.
Don’t forget the oil and gas industry; with the withdrawal of Chevron and Equinor, the loss is already starting to be felt, .
We have a services sector where the purses are snapping shut, and they’re snapping shut because of confidence, which has fallen through the floor.
We have an expenditure programme that has shifted billions out of the productive side of the economy and into welfare.
We have a jobseeker plan whereby those without work are no longer pressured to actually find it. The queue has grown by 13,000 people – and the bill has risen with it.
We have state housing for life where not only don’t you have to leave anymore, but the queue has grown to record levels – and by record levels as well.
We have a surplus that has basically vanished, and policies that are not costed, like the gun buyback, that will most likely eat whatever is left of the surplus.
We have growth numbers that now look anaemic – 0.6 per cent in the past quarter.
A competent government would know how to handle the economy in the event of a slowdown, but this ship of fools has no idea. The minister of finance has a degree in political science and a career that has been entirely based around politics. He has no business experience whatsoever, he never was the shadow finance minister and he has never even worked in a government department responsible for fiscal management, such as Treasury. He is totally out of his depth in finance.
And Robertson is one of the ‘better’ performers in this government.
As Cameron Bagrie told us the other day, an economy running at 80kmh in a 100kmh zone.
The IMF didn’t need to look hard to find all of this. Fortunately we’re still selling stuff to the world and still getting good money for it. But if you were here three years ago looking around, then came back today and looked again, your response would be “what the hell happened here?”
And sadly I think we all know the answer, don’t we?
Yes, we do. We have a government out of its depth in every portfolio, a prime minister only interested in photo opportunities and visiting schools and kindergartens (because they don’t ask the hard questions and she can give lots of hugs), and a social policy that requires massive spending at every level.
For me, the worst part of this very shambolic government is the influence of the Greens, who want to drive everyone out of cars, spend a fortune on cycle lanes and public transport, take away the personal responsibility aspect of collecting a benefit and spend billions on a zero carbon policy that will damage our primary industries whilst making not the slightest difference to global emissions. We are being bankrupted by these people, but they have the answer: legalise dope so that everyone will be too stoned to care.
What the hell happened? The nation voted for a National government, but Winston decided he knew better. He did warn us, on selection night, that the economy would tank. We just didn’t realise it would be his government that brought it about.