The Government spend approximately $75B a year funding a large number of different services.  It’s your taxes and many of you have strong opinions on where this money should be prioritised towards.  Some favour the funding social needs such as health, education and law and order, others infrastructure, schools and roads.  Most a combination of everything, but everyone has a slightly different view of priorities based on their own experience or situation.

However, one thing that we can all agree on is that the funding of all of these valuable services relies on a flourishing and growing economy.

New Zealand has recorded economic growth of 3.6 per cent, putting us in the top three of OECD countries. This solid growth shows the Government’s management of the economy is delivering more jobs and opportunities for New Zealanders. This is vital for families in the Bay of Plenty because without this growth and positive outlook a stagnant economy would put significant pressure on our ability to ensure that New Zealanders get what they need.

We’ve now got the second highest employment rate in the developed world. For every 100 people 16 or older, 66 have a job – and that includes people that choose not to work or retirees. That compares to 61 in Australia, 60 in the UK and US, and 56 across the OECD.  A combination of rising wages, reduced taxes on income and savings, and low inflation has seen take home pay increasing at 2.2 per cent a year – four times the rate than under the previous government.

These results are fantastic for the country and our region. Funding the necessary services for the cohesion and performance of our community as well as having the ability to pay back debt is a significant task and one that requires a very fine balance.  In my view, these results show that we are doing well. We can’t take our current economic performance for granted and we must stay focused to ensure that our positive outlook continues.

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