What happened to all the poverty?

After weeks of the mainstream media and opposition politicians telling us we are all poor and should be better off what do we find now?

The Herald takes a break from glum news to report bumper sales in retail.

Eftpos transactions reached record highs today as Kiwi shoppers, filled with “Christmas spirit”, packed out stores around the country.

Just-released Paymark figures show the peak transaction rate for the year – 148 per second, recorded at 12.24pm today – is the highest rate ever and was a significant rise from last year’s peak of 132 transactions per second.

Paymark, which processes about 75 per cent of all electronic transactions in New Zealand, also said spending was up 7.1 per cent annually for December 22 and 23.

Sales numbers had been “massive” all morning today, said Head of Sales and Marketing Paul Whiston. 

A lift in transactions was expected today, but “not quite to that magnitude”, he said.

“In the one hour between 12pm and 1pm we processed just on 490,000 transactions …

“That’s 50,000 more than we’ve ever seen on the network in a one-hour period ever.”

Shoppers were happy to spend, he said.

“It’s the Christmas spirit.

Turns out we aren’t all poor, or whingers, or bludgers.

“If you add that to the recent reports around consumer confidence, [and] the economy returning to a healthier state, I think that manifests itself in people celebrating and purchasing gifts.”

That is Labour’s problem right there…no real need or urgency to change government.

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