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Cost hike shows up Gov's ad hoc policy silos

Media statement Thursday, November 6th 2003

Security cost hike shows up Government's ad hoc policy silos

Though higher security costs were bound to hit our international trade, the Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern) questions the logic of Customs Minister Rick Barker in making exporters pay them.

"Exporters appreciate the efforts being made by the Customs Department to ensure our $4.2 billion trade to the US does not fall foul of US security requirements, said Bruce Goldsworthy Manager of EMA's Manufacturing Services.

"But the Customs Minister's justification for charging exporters the extra costs shows Government has no integrated policy for business.

"The initiatives under development are a uniquely New Zealand solution requiring the cooperation of industry and exporters to reassure US Border officials that our products do not need further inspections at their border.

"The new procedures will inevitably add costs which would no doubt be far higher if we did nothing and our goods were held up for days or weeks at the US border.

"The Minister Rick Barker's assumptions that the extra costs are not large compared to the value of the trade at stake shows ministers are working in their own policy silos out of touch with the business their costs impact on and with each other.

"Every Government Minister seems to think they can add extra costs to business whenever their department's face a budget constraint.

"This latest example shows Government policy making for business is splintered and ad hoc.

"The extra costs should be funded from the consolidated fund."

ENDS

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