10 Things Helen Clark Doesn't Know About The Economy

  • Bill Birch

Helen Clark seems to be suffering from selective amnesia, Treasurer Rt Hon Bill Birch said today.

"Her ridiculous press statement this morning shows she has forgotten the Labour government's legacy of deficits, debt, and fewer and fewer jobs - and that she has already lost two elections.

"A dynamic growing economy, jobs, better incomes, less debt, more and better quality health and education spending, and lower taxes are not mutually exclusive. As this National Government has showed, they can all be delivered at once.

"There are 10 facts Ms Clark needs to know about the economy:

1.It has grown by 37% since 1991. At the end of 1991 our GDP was $71.8 billion. In March this year it had reached $98.5 billion. Up until the Asian crisis, we had 20 out of 21 quarters of economic expansion under National's economic framework.

2.Even with the slight drop in employment this year, there are now 250,000 more jobs than at the end of 1991.
3.After 17 years of consecutive Budget deficits, National has delivered five surpluses in a row with another expected this year.

4.Net Government debt has been more than halved from 51.5% of GDP in 1992, to 24.5% now.

5.In June 1990, net foreign currency debt was $15.2 billion - $4,470 for every man, woman and child. Net foreign currency debt became $0 after the sale of FCNZ in 1996.

6.$2.5 billion more is being spent on health than in 1990. 50% more people a year are getting elective surgery than 10 years ago - 123,801 compared with 82,283.

7.There are $2.7 billion more education dollars than in 1990, and 73,000 more students in tertiary education.

8.Tax cuts and increased family assistance have increased weekly take home pay by $98 for a parent on $35,000 a year with three children.

9.More people in work means higher household incomes - for a couple with children they have risen to $58,730.

10.Interest rates are at their lowest level in 28 years. "The Government will continue to build on its strong economic framework, sound fiscal management, and individual sectoral improvements such as ACC, roading, and the Resource Management Act to make New Zealand a better place.

"Helen Clark may be gleeful at the impact of the Asian Crisis but it doesn't mean she can make things up about the economy, it doesn't mean Labour can simply not have policy - and it doesn't mean she will be the next Prime Minister."