For the past three years National has provided the responsible economic management that New Zealand sorely needed after nine years of Labour.
We’ve taken strong action to get the economy growing again.
Agriculture is leading New Zealand out of the recession. We already know Labour wants to tax farmers an extra $800 million through the Emissions Trading Scheme, and now they want to impose yet another tax on this key industry through capital gains tax.
To make matters worse, Labour have hidden in their tax package an Emissions Trading Scheme based on a $50 per tonne price for carbon across the entire scheme. That would mean Kiwi households would have to fork out four times as much for the ETS as they do currently under the National-led Government’s more balanced scheme.
Our rural communities need the farmers and the farmers need our rural communities.
The economy is now really gathering momentum. The latest GDP data shows that economic growth was much higher than expected in the March quarter, despite the Christchurch earthquake.
By contrast, when we came into office, New Zealand had been in recession for nine months – well before other countries and the onset of the global financial crisis.
Exports had flattened out. Government spending was out of control. The Treasury’s books showed never-ending budget deficits and spiralling Government debt.
Despite the surprises since then – including the devastating Canterbury earthquakes – the economy is now much stronger than it was three years ago and is far better placed to meet future challenges.
We’ve set the platform for strong economic growth while protecting our most vulnerable.
We’ve improved our tax system so that it encourages hard work and savings, rather than providing incentives to hide income or head overseas. Our tax reforms have made sure that after-tax wages have, on average, risen faster than the cost of living. They went up 7.1 per cent in the past year – faster than the rate of inflation.
We’ve made the Government-run parts of the economy more efficient so that they don’t get in the way of the parts of the economy that compete with the rest of the world. We’ve reduced our reliance on foreign lenders by limiting debt. The Government’s books will be in surplus by 2014/15.
We’ve cut red tape to encourage enterprise and flexibility. We’ve boosted investment in vital infrastructure – such as roads, broadband, and the electricity network. And we’ve improved the education system so that our schools and tertiary institutions produce better skilled workers for the future.
New Zealanders are starting to reap the benefits of our economic plan.
Budget 2011 forecast 170,000 new jobs and 3 per cent average annual growth over the next four years.
We’re very optimistic about the economic future for New Zealand. The last thing our country needs is more taxes and more debt.
Kiwis don’t want to put their future at risk with a switch back to the unaffordable and big-spending ways of the past. They want a strong and growing economy that provides more opportunities, better wages, and the high-quality public services they need. That’s exactly what National will deliver.