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Desire For Economic Transformation Welcome

Desire For Economic Transformation Welcome

The Prime Minister's scene setting speech today is very welcome for the emphasis placed at long last on working to achieve economic transformation and growth, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"At last Government is getting its priorities in the right order," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"Business welcomes the Prime Minister's desire for economic growth and innovation to achieve greater added value through which to deliver increased investment in social equity.

"The PM's speech though short on specifics and long on buzz phrases nevertheless addressed seven of our 20 key growth issues, including:

* Increased investment in roads and other transport,

* Increased investment in information and communications technology

* Boosting investment in trade and exports

* Improving the links between research and commercialization of ideas

* Developing an innovation friendly regulatory environment for innovation

* Education and skills development, at all levels

* Target migrants with the skills New Zealand needs

* Developing business best practice demonstration projects.

"Missing from the list and fundamentally important for growth were such factors as:

* lowering company taxes

* reducing Government spending as a percentage of GDP

* cutting business compliance costs

* improving the efficiency and effectiveness of local government

* the need to maintain the flexibility of individual enterprises

"Elsewhere, Government's willingness to add to business costs through such as the Health and Safety Amendment Bill, HSNO, higher taxes and additional holidays pay is counterproductive to its newly discovered enthusiasm and focus on innovation and growth.

"We also want to match the small print on the PM's reassuring words on ratifying the Kyoto Protocol with Government actions later this year - the business uncertainty Government created over Kyoto is also decidedly counterproductive."


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