Monday, March 4, 2024
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Border bungles will cost jobs – Goldsmith

Restoring confidence in our handling of the border is a critical part of restoring our economy, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

OECD figures show that New Zealand will be one of the most heavily affected countries, in terms of lost national income and jobs.

Our GDP fell 1.6 per cent in the three months to March, mostly before the COVID-19 crisis, while Australia’s only fell 0.3 per cent.

"The incompetence, bungling and lack of attention to detail on border quarantine that has been laid bare this week will make it more difficult to restore the flow of people that fuel our economy.

"New Zealanders will naturally be fearful of re-opening our borders to international students and the Trans-Tasman bubble if our systems are loose and unreliable.

"As a result, restoring international education, which used to generate some 55,000 jobs, will be further delayed. National is committed to restoring international education with a stringent health check on every student and testing on entry and exit of quarantine.

"Australian tourists, who could help save jobs in our tourism and hospitality sectors, will be delayed.

"The loss of trust at the border will hold back our economic recovery and cost jobs.

"We need a coherent economic plan which is more than debt-fuelled government spending on an industrial scale.

"Opening the economy safely is part of National’s plan, but that relies on competence at the border."

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