Steven Joyce is peddling manufacturing make-believe, wrongly claiming the sector has been growing for the past two years, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.
“Steven Joyce is living in a dream world on manufacturing. Today he said ‘the manufacturing sector has been growing in the past two years’. That’s factually incorrect: the manufacturing index has been in negative territory for a quarter of that time.
“We’ve seen 40,000 manufacturing jobs lost since 2008, when National came to power. We’ve seen massive layoffs in Kawerau, Huntly, Spring Creek, Tiwai Point, Christchurch and South Auckland.
“More jobs are said to be on the line at Mataura Freezing Works, Glenbrook Steel, Tiwai point and others.
“Yet Steven Joyce wrongly claims the sector is booming. Misusing labour force statistics can’t hide the reality being faced by thousands of Kiwi families.
“The Government won’t go into bat for our exporters and manufacturers. Labour will. We know Kiwis need a strong manufacturing sector to create good jobs that pay a decent wage. We will work with industry and provide the right policies to get manufacturing moving.
“The essential reasons manufacturers are struggling are the overvalued New Zealand dollar, an anti-growth tax framework that rewards speculation over manufacturing, and an absence of government strategy for industry sectors and regions.
“Steven Joyce says our dollar is high because our economy is strong. The hundreds of jobs being lost week after week disprove his fantasy theory. If the currency reflected the strength of the economy, businesses would be performing and hiring, not firing.
“The Minister just glosses over real world problems with glossy brochures that he calls a growth agenda, and name-calling anyone who disagrees with him.
“The global economic authorities that he is blindly dissing include the OECD, IMF and Nobel laureates like Joseph Stiglitz, as well as successful policies in small, smart economies like the Nordics, Singapore and Taiwan
“New Zealand deserves action not name-calling.”
-Fuse Box Media