Tax cuts are not affordable and fixing New Zealand’s infrastructure now has to be the priority for government spending, independent economist Cameron Bagrie says.
The country has not had a risk management plan for natural disasters and that is now becoming apparent, he told dairy farmers at the Northland Dairy Development Trust annual conference, outlining the major risk factors for the co-operative.
The country needs real leaders and not populist politicians, he said.
Economic reality and market forces will force discipline on leaders.
“For a long time, politicians and corporates have got away with cheap money and no real accountability.”
NZ has never before been so socially and economically divided, between the haves and have-nots, between rural and urban, house owners and renters, older and younger generations.
“Fortunately, when things begin to break you go back to basics, and NZ has competitive advantages in food production, regular rainfall and a large economic zone.
“But we can’t plant our way out of climate change challenges and the forestry sector is at serious risk of losing its social licence, which all industries must have.”
Bagrie pointed out that cost of living was currently the number one issue among voters, but he will watch polling with interest to see if climate change improves its position from number six.