Andrew Little was on Morning Report today. I can’t recall which of his hats he was on as, but anyway he was talking unemployment. He said the Government needs to invest mreo in infrastructure to create jobs, specifcally:
“It complains about debt, it doesn’t make a distinction between public debt and private debt, actually the Government does have the means to continue at least spending on infrastructure projects that are about building assets and that are about creating real work. It is the very role the Government should be playing at the time of an economic downturn and it appears to have stepped aside from playing that role.”
But this is exactly what the Government is doing. It has not put a lot of money into social spending programmes like in the US, but it has increased and acclerated its infrastructure programme. Specifically:
- The Government has embarked on the single biggest infrastructure investment programme ever over the next five to seven years.
- It is spending $7.5 billion through the Budget process over five years. In addition it has increased spending on State Highways to over a $1 billion a year and is spending more than ever before on upgrading the National Grid. All up the Government is spending about $6 billion a year and rising.
Without this unprecedented level of investment in infrastructure, the construction sector would be in a bad way.
Andrew is also quoted as saying by the presenter:
While John Key insists there is an improving economic picture, Andrew Little says there is little change on the horizon to a flat market for New Zealand’s products and he says that in the next few weeks between 200 and 250 will be made redundant from the manufacturing sector with employers reviewing other positions as well.
The manufacturing sector though is actually a growing sector. The HLFS has the total number of manufacturing jobs growing by around 12,000 in the last quarter and 17,000 in the last year.
The job losses are in the financial and education sectors, not manufacturing.