The risk of slumping global conditions make it more urgent to modernise the New Zealand economy but the National-led Government is acting as if there's nothing it can do, says Labour's Finance spokesperson David Parker.
"National is concocting a new excuse every week for its failure to grow wages and exports.
"The Prime Minister is now saying 'the European debt crisis is the biggest threat to the New Zealand economy.' But New Zealand is growing more slowly than just about anywhere outside Europe.
"Last week the Finance Minister said recovery takes longer from 'recession caused by debt'. He claimed 'people are saving more and that's slowing down the recovery'. But as a country we are not saving - New Zealand is borrowing more and the Budget forecasts our net liabilities to grow to more than $200 billion.
"The biggest issues facing the New Zealand economy are the lack of growth in wages and exports, and our ballooning overseas liabilities. All the Budget had in response was larger class sizes and selling out our assets and farmland.
"The National-led Government is behaving as if the date of return to surplus is the only figure that counts, but any government would return to surplus at around the same time.
"Instead of making up new excuses every week, the Government needs to modernise the economy with pro-growth tax reform, a universal savings scheme, game-changing investment in innovation, technology and education and realistic decisions to deal with looming fiscal pressures," said David Parker.
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