Concern is rising among New Zealand business owners and employers at the falling levels of business confidence highlighted in the recent release of survey data from banks and economists. Many business leaders are reporting significant drop offs in confidence in the first six to eight months of the Labour-led coalition government.
“We all voted National last year,” said one leader, “and when they won the election, we were over the moon. But as it became clear that Winston was going to go with Labour, I certainly felt my confidence levels beginning to wobble.”
A member of the Employers and Manufacturers Federation said there was a definite and significant fall in confidence following the signing of the coalition agreement.
“When it became clear that National had been voted out then my confidence definitely fell,” he said, “I’m never confident with a Labour government. They never give us free stuff like being able to sack people for no reason after 3 months of work.”
When asked whether he thought his drop in confidence had very little to do with any economic conditions, the EMF member said, “Oh… absolutely not. Everybody has stopped investing in anything now that Labour are in charge. We don’t think we’ll be confident again until National and ACT are back in power.”
National leader Simon Bridges, fresh from his Year 13 science field-day said, “this is just typical Labour. When they are in government bringing in surpluses, investing in infrastructure, and lifting wages for everybody, business confidence plummets. When we are in power and racking up the deficits and making sure thousands and thousands of New Zealanders are kicked off benefits because that’s how we roll, then confidence goes through the roof. That proves we are the better economic managers.”
The Labour Party said they weren’t going to comment because it was very unlikely anything they said would have any effect on the confidence of National voters.