I have visited many local businesses here in Tauranga this year with a wide range of products and services. There is no doubt that businesses have lost confidence, that means they’re not taking a chance on investing more money or hiring new staff.

This is backed up by the recent historic cut to the Official Cash Rate (OCR) to one per cent. The only other times that the OCR has dropped by that much was after the 9/11 terrorist attack, during the Global Financial Crisis, and after the Christchurch earthquake.

So it’s no surprise that the number of people visiting our CBD is down. Some of this can be attributed to the current building work and road closures but not all of it is due to the work happening in the centre.

Money is cheap to lend. It should be encouraging businesses to invest and grow and shoppers to spend. Businesses owners are cautious that with a slowing economy their customers may not be there in the future. Investment may be too risky.

The Government’s inept economic management has contributed to the recent decision by the Reserve Bank to slash the OCR. The Government has no clear plan for growth.

National would revive the economy with pro-business policies. We would see business confidence improve and the economy gain the strength it has lost under this Government.

Our local businesses certainly lift their weight on the National scale. I have been into many award-winning companies. We have the people here to get the best out of their businesses but they need a buoyant economy to thrive.

Simon Bridges
National Party Leader