AM host Ryan Bridge hits back at Chlöe Swarbrick's criticism of Reserve Bank's recession engineering admission

  • 25/11/2022

AM host Ryan Bridge has hit back at Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick for her criticism of the Reserve Bank (RBNZ), amid questions over its handling of the economy.

The issue of the RBNZ's plan to tackle accelerating inflation came up again this week when Governor Adrian Orr said it was raising the official cash rate by 75 basis points to 4.25 percent - the biggest jump on record. Orr later admitted the RBNZ was purposely engineering a recession to slow spending and bring inflation under control.  

Swarbrick responded to Orr's admission by accusing the RBNZ of sacrificing the "lowest income New Zealanders at the alter of economic orthodoxy".

But Bridge pushed back against Swarbrick's remarks during Friday's edition of AM.

"That's what they're meant to do. Like, you can't just have inflation going on and spiralling and spiralling, and turning into stagflation and getting worse," Bridge said. 

"What we should all, as a public, be aware of… is when Governments say, 'Don't worry, we've got the money for this, we've got the wage subsidy here, we've got the central bank printing money here'... someone's going to have to pay the price at some point.

"We just need to, as citizens, be aware that next time a Government starts talking like that - it's not all free and we will pay at some point."

Bridge said New Zealanders "cannot have a free ride - you cannot have a free lunch".

New Zealand was now experiencing the repercussions of an overstimulated economy, he said.

Bridge and Swarbrick.
Bridge and Swarbrick. Photo credit: AM

On Thursday, Orr apologised to New Zealanders as the country braced for dark economic times.

"I do want to put on record that, on behalf of the monetary policy committee that are all here, we are sorry that New Zealanders have been buffeted by these significant economic shocks and are experiencing inflation well above our central bank 1-3 percent target range," Orr told Parliament's Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. 

Finance Minister Grant Robertson, meanwhile, said New Zealand was "not immune to what happens overseas" when it came to the economy.

"We know this is a tough time for Kiwis who are experiencing [the] cost of living pressures and rising interest rates," he said, but "New Zealand is well placed in a challenging global environment."