Andrew Dickens: People need to fight to get us out of this economic hole

Author
Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Thu, 21 May 2020, 3:48PM
(Photo / Getty)

Andrew Dickens: People need to fight to get us out of this economic hole

Author
Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Thu, 21 May 2020, 3:48PM

For all those still confused – it is Muller as in mulled wine.

All day long I’ve heard radio hosts and talkback callers trip themselves up saying Muller in a Germanic style. So let’s get this right people. Muller as in mulled wine. Muller as in mullet.

I find this amazing. A man who believes he can be Prime Minister in 18 months name and we don’t even know how to say his name.

What can I tell you about Todd Muller? Well, he’s spent $35,000 of taxpayers money travelling around the regions in the past three months.  To put that into perspective, Simon Bridges spent $37,000.  Obviously Todd has been doing the howdy-doodies for a while now to shore up support.

I understand it’s still a close call between the two men so either will inherit a divided caucus compared to the Labour-led Government who has a rock solid leader with no-one challenging her.

We’ll find out tomorrow just after noon.

Meanwhile, the opposition sideshow stole the headlines from what will be seen as the beginning of the hard cold winter.

Air New Zealand shed another 1300 staff, mostly cabin crew, after earlier shedding 300 pilots.  This was predictable. We shut our borders, there are no tourists, there are no international flights. It’s global. Tens of thousands of planes are now rotting on desert airstrips and abandoned runways around the globe.

The global closing of borders, including ours, is what has stolen 100,000 tourist jobs from our economy.  Not a government that some have described as economic vandals. No-one on the planet can escape that one.  Just as almost everyone on the planet could not avoid a lockdown

So add the seven week lockdown of our domestic economy to the destruction of the global tourist economy and you get the next dagger to the heart that occurred yesterday.  1500 jobs lost from Fletcher’s Building even as a government commits to infrastructure spending.

CEO Ross Taylor told me yesterday residential construction will fall 30 per cent in the short term while commercial construction will fall 15 per cent.  He’s predicting a 20 per cent fall in economic activity over the next few months.

Dismal news.  But then Mr Taylor perked me up a little.  He believes the government’s infrastructure spending is a good thing and will mean a return to better days within two years.

It’s a common refrain.  Two years and we’re back. 

I know for some that sounds horrific but I remember well the ‘87 sharemarket crash that continued into the ‘91 Mother of all Budgets by Ruth Richardson that was also called Ruthanasia. That was five long hard years with high interest rates, user pays, cuts to benefits.  They were dark hard times that went on and on. Two years because of a global pandemic sounds almost tolerable.

I’m growing tired of people saying that this country has no idea of the economic carnage that is coming.  That’s just arrogant, condescending  and wrong.  We know it’s coming. We knew it was coming the day we closed our borders. Forbidding warnings help no-one. 

Time to man up. Stop moaning and start fighting back.  The dark days are here. Let’s roll our sleeves up and do our best to get out of this hole.