Help needed for manufacturers, MPs say
Fri, 10 Aug 2012 5:36a.m.
Opposition parties are calling on the government to help manufacturers and exporters, saying the high exchange rate is forcing them to cut jobs.
They're using the latest unemployment statistics, which show an unexpected increase, to back their case.
"It records a loss of 10,500 jobs in the manufacturing sector for the June quarter," NZ First leader Winston Peters says.
"International research shows manufacturing jobs produce the highest value - for every job created, two to five further jobs are created elsewhere."
Mr Peters says the New Zealand dollar is dangerously over-valued and exporters are being priced out of international markets.
NZ First has drafted legislation which would change the Reserve Bank Act so it could intervene more easily to control the exchange rate.
Labour's finance spokesman, David Parker, says the exchange rate is one of the "fundamental problems" the government isn't dealing with.
"The current high dollar is damaging exporters and costing jobs every week - especially in high value sectors like manufacturing," he says.
The household labour force survey, released on Thursday, shows unemployment rose just 0.1 of a percentage point in the June quarter to 6.8 percent.
Economists had expected it to drop to 6.5 percent.
There are now 162,000 people out of work, and Mr Parker says that's an increase of 57,000 since National came to power in 2008.
Employment Minister Steven Joyce says the Canterbury earthquakes are distorting the figures.
"Excluding Canterbury, employment rose by 15,000 in the quarter and unemployment fell," he says.
"This shows the unavoidable impact the earthquakes have had on the economy."
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13/08/2012 10:28:22 p.m.
Im going to try and keep it short and to the point as we are taking up a lot of the discussion page...Firstly, I think you may have me mistaken for someone else. I have never supported Labour and their vote buying from the unions and welfare dependants. Im not going to challenge you on the errors of Labours somewhat socialist policies - or more to the point Labour's unimaginative "anti-National" policies. Secondly, to answer your point, New Zealand's problem is not how much we are spending. Our govt expenditure is low - even taking in to account Labour's increases. Our problem lies with how much our country earns. That is the issue. And it is not being adequately addressed. So when you start complaining about how much expenditure increased under Labour - like it was a bad thing, just remember that isnt the problem we are facing today. And that isnt the problem that this govt is addressing. But should be. But by the looks of things it is too hard to address that problem and keep John Key's banker cronies happy.
13/08/2012 6:17:23 a.m.
Look at what Helen did in her 9 years, it more than doubled government spending!That was completely irresponsibile and unsustainable! Typical Labour. If look at government spending from 1999-2012, it has still more than doubled. For all the claims National has cut almost nothing, but they haven't blindly increased spending like Labour. Even in recession something like 45% have not changed how much they eat out with another about 45% still regularly eating out but less, or eating out at cheaper places - ie 90% of NZ still regularly eat out! Yeah, NZ'rs on welfare are so hard up!The problem with the idea to bridge the gap between rich/poor is you end up taxing the working NZ'rs into extinction - so how does that help NZs poor? The left will claim the rich will be broken and this will be good as they too will be eating in the gutter like the poor? But what it really means is if the rich do less well, there is less to cover social policy. If you want people homeless, starving in the streets, then Labour is the party for you as its policies have only one end-game as you tax the workers till there are none, keep increasing the welfare of those non-workers till there is not enough to go around. The last 9 years of Labour is a great example as the government expenditure and vote buying was exactly the same type of action as Maddoff stealing and paying a few investors to encourage more investors to cover his theft. Oh wait, Labour directed ACC/Kiwisaver to invest in ... Maddoff and like investmetns that lost $29 billion pre 2008 election!Not only are Labour bad for NZ long term as they are crooks, but crooks with the intelligence to steal their own shoes find them an easy mark!What do you call a bunch of crooks strong-arming NZ and holding NZ to ransom? A union. Its also known as a protection racket. The Auckland Maritime Union cost NZ over $1 billion for a few strong-arming NZ over sociable hours! What about the increased social cost of that?
11/08/2012 7:11:49 p.m.
Firstly, if you cant understand that the NZ economy is an export based economy you need to smell the coffee. That is where our strength should be. At the moment it is not, and the National Govt are running this country like its a bank and shifting numbers rather than investing in manufacturing industry and ensuring our export industry has the ability to thrive. The only thing the Govt is doing now is trying to control inflation by allowing the exchange rate to fluctuate and trading in foreign currency. Is it working? Sometimes. But what the real question should be is "at what expense?". It is at the expense of any sort of social responsibility or more importantly of any sort of genuine future planning. All the govt cares about is if it gets in next election and if the next budget is balanced. Then John Key will retire to the Bahamas in his multi-million dollar property development and care-not how his poor fiscal choices impacted on our society. Mike, you talk about debt and costs of subsidies...what about the social costs of the current policies? What about the long term impacts? Not just tomorrows debt forecast, but the integral infrastructure to our entire economy. We are having to juggle whether to sell out assets today because of the exact same sort of decisions the National Govt made 20 years ago - with the same sort of attitude - cut throat, sink or swim, chance your arm and get back to budget surplus. Bugger the social consequence - "their not economists so what would they know about running a country...". Tell me with even a little bit of seriousness that the choices they made back then were the right ones...I dare you. Then tell me that what Key and his cronies are doing now is any different. And AIDEN, please can you add something more constructive to a conversation or don't bother at all.
11/08/2012 7:42:01 a.m.
it is you that needs to wake up and stop sniffing the crap winston spreads
11/08/2012 6:45:21 a.m.
The reserve bank has some control, but its small. They basicly set the base rate which flows through to everyones interest rates from business loans, mortages, even credit cards.It also affects our dollar some as the rate affects overseas investment in our dollar.Reserve Bank encouraging exchange rate fluctuation? Where? Now if they were moving their base rate this would cause movement in our dollar, but the rate has been always slow to move, and small movements so its not the reserve bank causing the dollar to fluctuate.It takes opposition accounting like Labours revenue=profit to come up with the idea that we could have a lower exchange rate which would help exports while not increasing costs of imports, as they are both tied to the same exchange rate! It still doesn't address the cause of our strengthening dollar, which is the poor economic data out of the US and EU. German bonds currently, investors are paying interest to hold them, ie they are losing money to invest as its very bad over there.So what are these magical legislation controls that Peters wont tell us about that allow more money for exports while holding down costs on imports? He carried around a winebox for like 10 years and NZ still doesn't know what he had in the box? Lets hear what magical legislation he recommends as till we hear that, he is just another empty headed smiling opposition with nothing. Would Peter subsidise imports to keep the costs down, costing NZ a fortune? As I can't see any other way to get more for exports while not raising import costs, but subsidies still cost and NZ is in debt and cant afford more subsidies.
10/08/2012 8:28:48 p.m.
AIDEN, you need to wake up. The only reason that would happen now is because of the current Reserve Bank legislation that would let that happen - the current legislation is set up to actively encourage fluctuating exchange rates. Winston has different legislation that will allow for the lower rates and prevent the "$3 fuel prices" to occur. Not only that, but there are other regulations and controls that would accompany a move like lowering the exchange rate, that would counter any import prices. But I'm sure you are smart enough to not just vote for smiling politicians who don't really answer tough questions or shrug off big topics of debate, or refuse to debate with other parties and hope you actually do some accurate research before you vote or make ill-informed comments on public forums...oh wait...
10/08/2012 1:27:31 p.m.
do people realise what will happen if the dollar drops? you will see petrol close to $3, you will see food prices rises because of transport costs and most everything else. The high dollar is at present keeping us from a higher petrol cost and higher cost of living.
10/08/2012 1:08:14 p.m.
People like John Key used the 'U6 Rate to make themselves look good.
10/08/2012 11:09:46 a.m.
The real unemployment is 13%, but i would expect a National Voter to know that!Research: U6 unemployment Rate, economist modify the statistics to suit Govt agenda.
10/08/2012 10:19:07 a.m.
I think it is high time people start actually listening to common sense policy initiatives. Put aside all the petty games, traditions and blind loyalty, and look at the future of New Zealand. Winston has some very sound, common sense policies that we need promoted and in government. I certainly hope NZFirst make gains next election and hold some cards in parliament.
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