Or at least that was a suggested option in the latest update …
Some of the ideas written on white boards around the conference centre include:
* Encouraging workers to take unpaid leave.
* Easing up on immigration
* Clarifying the carbon trading scheme
* Supporting businesses to develop hedging capability
* Giving tax exemptions for workers upskilling
* Bringing forward capital investment
* Targeting entrepreneurial migrants to invest and/or move to New Zealand
So we have a pile of capacity to provide for domestic spending, but NZ citizens don’t want to spend anymore – how exactly is preventing the inflow of other people who can spend domestically useful? Then they could all start working in export markets and “hey-presto” we’re in a great place.
Even if we were “concerned” about the medium term (we should be) let us remember – New Zealand has a small population. Increasing our population could conceivably provide us with some increasing returns to scale in the long-term.
Furthermore – if we were interested in maximising “global welfare” the case for allowing in immigrants would be unambiguous. However, I’ve noticed that this isn’t how we seem to feel as a nation …
(Update: As Insider points out “easing up” might mean the opposite of what I assumed. If that is the case, I would like to note that I am also not a fan of arbitrary increasing inflows – I prefer consistency and certainty surround population growth. If we came to an international agreement for free international migration that would be a different story again …)