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Urgency wanted on plans to roll back bad news

Media statement Friday, March 24, 2006

Urgency wanted on plans to roll back bad news

The negative economic growth result out today, coupled with the ballooning current account deficit demands that Government show strong leadership of the economy, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

“The responsibility for maintaining the New Zealand economy is about to fall weightily on our exporters’ shoulders,” said Alasdair Thompson, EMA’s chief executive.

“Exporters need to know that government is not only on their side but will speed up measures that assist their effectiveness.

“For instance, exporters need to know what plans are being made for Export Year in 2007 right away.

“Next year will be too late to gear up to meet the combined challenges of negative economic growth and our extreme indebtedness.

“So what trade missions does Economic Development Minister Mallard plan to be leading?

“Will Finance Minister Cullen accelerate the introduction of the tax changes to be recommended by the Peter Dunne’s tax review?

“What measures will government expedite to make electricity supply secure, and build transport infrastructure faster?

“One thing Government could do right away is freeze all new employment in state sector administration.

“We know the high dollar has been the main culprit in souring the economy’s outlook; it has precipitated especially severe damage to our manufacturing sector which accounts for 300,000 jobs and 15 per cent of GDP.

“Yet the Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) has been on red alert for at least a year though apparently discounted judging by the ‘surprise’ at today’s GDP result by our economic commentators.

“Government has enjoyed seven years of surpluses; business wants to see them yield sustainable growth, not turned into jobs in the bureaucracy.”

ENDS

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