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Much More To Come On Compliance Costs

5 September 2001

Businesses will be cautious of claims about action on compliance costs until much more detail is available, says Business New Zealand Chief Executive Simon Carlaw.

Mr Carlaw said the compliance cost panel's report was right on the button, but questions remained over whether the 'big ticket' problems would be fixed.

"The Commerce Minister has said 10% of the recommendations will not be implemented because they conflict with Government policy. Business will be interested to see how many of the really big problems fall within that 10% 'no-go' area.

"The 'no-go' area is in any case much larger than 10% since tax complaints which were the largest category of problems presented to the panel, were ruled out as being outside its terms of reference.

"The next-largest category of complaints - about the Resource Management Act - is also problematic given the select committee's recent rejection of proposed improvements to the Act. It's to the Government's credit that it did not advance the select committee recommendations, pending the final outcome of the compliance cost panel, but it indicates the difficulty in getting balanced legislation through some select committees.

"Clumsy laws over-regulating businesses over tax, resource management, accident compensation, employment relations, statistics, local government, health and safety, hazardous substances and numerous other areas are eating up the productive time of small businesses across the country. These cost jobs and growth that benefit all New Zealanders."

Ends


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