By Simeon Brown
2020 has been one of the toughest years in living memory for many of us as the Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged the world and brought many challenges and uncertainties along with it.
New Zealand has been spared somewhat from the health impact that other nations are still struggling to deal with, but it has come at a far greater economic cost. Recent statistics show that our economy has shrunk by around 12 per cent in the last few months compared to 7 per cent in Australia and 9 per cent in the USA.
More than 400 people a day are losing their jobs, debt is forecast to increase to its highest levels in our country’s history over the next few years and families and businesses are struggling as a result.
Last week, I attended the AGM of the Pakuranga and Howick Budgeting Service and heard first-hand just how badly this is affecting people in Pakuranga, particularly those who were already struggling to make ends meet.
Whilst NZ has handled the health side of this pandemic relatively well, recently there have been shortcomings with the security of our border that have put our efforts at risk.
What New Zealand needs now is a Government that will not only shore up our defences against Covid-19 but place a strong emphasis on growing jobs and supporting businesses.
National has a balanced plan, one that ensures proper management of our border security while kickstarting the economy to create jobs and give businesses the confidence to move forward and get our country back on track.
We also understand that ALL Kiwis have a part to play in our economic recovery which is why we announced that a National Government would introduce temporary tax relief that would see the average earner keep more than $3000 more of their own money next year.
We have always believed that you know how to spend your money better than the Government does, but particularly in times of economic crisis. We need people to have the confidence and means to spend their money to stimulate the economy.
We are also going to invest in infrastructure to grow our economy and create jobs. Locally this means the Eastern Busway, Reeves Road Flyover and East West Link being delivered.
At the same time, we know that debt will inevitably increase to pay for this investment, so we will reduce wasteful spending such as Fees Free and Kiwibuild to keep our debt lower and reduce the burden on future generations.
National has been here before bringing NZ through the Global Financial Crisis and the Christchurch Earthquakes and we will do it again restoring your country and your economy so that you and your family can have the bright future you aspire to.
- Simeon Brown is the National Party MP for Pakuranga