According to the latest NZIER quarterly survey of business opinion released last week business confidence is the lowest it has been since 2009.
“When Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters was asked for his opinion (TVNZ 12th July) he shrugged it off saying ” ….I’m not worried … the share market is at record levels, profitability is up at record levels, banking profits are up at 9 per cent… So let’s not have this doom and gloom contrived by the National Party.”
Let’s just take this apart. Peters gives three measures of value extraction as a sign that our economy is booming .
1. The share market is at record levels.
People largely wheel and deal in the share market hoping to make money out of their money. They are not in it for the long haul and improving the businesses they invest in. That’s why the share market rises and falls so much.
2. Profitability is up.
This is another measure of how much money people are making by extracting wealth from our economy. If you want an economy of “well- being” then where is the measure of re-investment?
3. Banking profits are up 9 per cent.
Sorry? Banks are making more profits and this is a good thing?
Last month NZ First Associate Minister Shane Jones crowed at a post budget event it was his party “that killed off the Capital Gains Tax “ recommended by the Tax Working Group. As a result we are in the position of having no wealth tax of any significanceand so ,the rich will continue to get richer and more people on lower incomes will struggle to make ends meet.
As long as NZ First remain in the coalition government neoliberalism will rule our economy and the measure of economic success will not be the” well -being” of the many but how much wealth the already wealthy are able to extract from our economy.
Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.