Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi –
A growing economy supports more jobs and higher wages.
It provides opportunities for families and pays for public services.
That is why our economy remains front and centre of the National Party led Government’s Work Programme.
We can proudly say that our plan is delivering results and that our country is in good shape.
Businesses are confident and are investing; exports are up, tourism and construction sectors are booming, and interest rates are down.
The outlook for economic growth remains solid with predicted enviable growth of 3% on average through to 2020.
High employment rate
Growth matters because it creates more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders. Our economic programme is designed to achieve more jobs and higher incomes.
An extra 100,000 jobs have been created in the last year.
The unemployment rate is down to 5.1% and falling across the country.
Our employment rate – the proportion of all people 16 or older in work – is now the second highest in the OECD group of developed countries. This is a significant achievement.
Kiwi families have more spending power. The average annual wage has increased 25% to $58,000 since 2008 – more than twice the rate of inflation.
It is expected to reach almost $63,000 by 2020.
A combination of rising wages, reduced taxes on income and savings, and low inflation has seen take-home pay increasing 2.2% a year, four times faster than under the previous government.
The latest income and inequality data published by Social Development Ministry confirms this trend of incomes growing solidly in recent years, with slightly higher gains for low-income households. It also finds there is no evidence of increasing poverty, or children in material hardship.
That is what a growing economy is delivering for New Zealanders.
At the same time, as we have increased spending on core public services – health and education spending are today at record levels – we have increased support for the most-vulnerable New Zealanders.
We have also balanced the Government’s books, and we are on track to repay debt.
Greater prosperity ahead
National will continue to focus on building a stronger, more prosperous New Zealand, with more jobs and higher incomes, and on helping families get ahead.
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi has been a Member of Parliament on National List since November 2008. He is also Chairman of the Law & Order Select Committee of Parliament.