PM column – Working hard to build strong and stable growth

On Saturday, I attended celebrations for Diwali in Auckland.  I always enjoy attending Diwali celebrations and catching up with the vibrant Indian community.  This year was no different.  The festival of lights brightens up communities across New Zealand, and it is a great…….. way for New Zealanders to experience the vibrant Indian culture.

I’m back in Parliament this week, after a two week recess.  I’m looking forward to spending time debating the issues that New Zealanders are facing.  National has a strong economic plan that will help create more, and higher paying jobs, for New Zealanders and their families and put our economy on a strong and stable footing to meet any future economic shocks.

Since 2008, National has been working hard to take the sharpest edges off the recession for families and businesses. And we’re now working hard to set our country up for a prosperous future.

Despite the continuing global uncertainty a number of economic indicators are showing positive signs. Latest GDP results show economic growth of 0.6 per cent for the June 2012 quarter. This takes our total growth for the year to 2.6 per cent, which is higher than most developed countries.Growth over the last year is the highest New Zealand has experienced since before the recession and Global Financial Crisis.

According to the Household Labour Force Survey, which is the standard internationally-recognised measure of employment, a net 57,000 more New Zealanders have a job now than two years ago.  This is positive news for families and communities.

Interest rates are very low and after-tax wages have gone up 20 per cent since September 2008 – more than twice the rate of inflation.

The role of Government is to do things that help make firms more competitive and productive.  National is giving businesses the confidence to grow, take on more staff and invest in their future here in New Zealand which will lead to long-term economic growth.