New Zealand business confidence has fallen to levels last seen during the Global Financial Crisis.
While the magnitude of the decline is hard to explain, as economic conditions are clearly far better than during the GFC period, the direction is far easier to understand.
Some commentators have blamed the decline on businesses not getting the Government they expected or wanted.
I think that is far too simplistic and what we are seeing is that businesses are growing increasingly concerned about the coalition Government’s lack of clear strategy and poor execution of policy. We are clearly experiencing management by an unwieldy committee.
New Zealand has been blessed for much of the last two decades, under both Clark and Key, for having political leaders who were more pragmatic and less ideologically driven than the current lot. Remembering that financial resources are scarce and that expenditure needs to be prioritised, let’s look at coalition execution around a number of policies.
Policy: Free tertiary education
$1.5 billion over 3 years
Who knew that this was one of the most pressing issues facing New Zealand but the Coalition government clearly decided it was and announced $1.5b of funding straight after the election.