Labour leader David Cunliffe says a government he leads
would get unemployment down to 4 per cent by the end of its
It currently stands at 6 per cent, or 147,000 according to
the official measure, the Household Labour Force Survey.
Mr Cunliffe also reiterated Labour's pledge to run surpluses
as National is planning to do, unless faced with another
global downturn or domestic disaster.
The pledge to get the employment rate to 4 per cent would
mean 20,000 fewer unemployed people, based on today's
Treasury's most recent projections for the unemployment rate
for the years ended June 2017 is 5.2 per cent and for 2018 it
is 5.1 per cent, but revised projections will be announced on
Thursday in Bill English's sixth Budget.
Speaking to reporters at Parliament, Mr Cunliffe said when
Labour was last in government, the party had got unemployment
as low as 3.5 per cent and achieved average unemployment of
3.9 per cent for five years.
"We did it then and we'll do it again because Labour is the
party of jobs."
He acknowledged that National would be getting the books back
into surplus on Thursday and said getting the books in order
"But we also know that New Zealanders want more from their
government than tidy book-keeping."
"The Budget is more about numbers - it's about people."
The Government would try to tell the country that the surplus
meant their economic management had been a success, Mr
"They will ask us to ignore the stagnant wages of most
working families. They will ask us to turn a blind eye to the
soaring costs of living at the supermarket, in our power
bills and in our mortgages and rents."
- by Audrey Young of the NZ Herald