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A Budget for the Long Term…

17 May 2007

Media Release

A Budget for the Long Term…

An honest attempt to fix NZ’s long term economy, but lacking a sense of urgency is how Michael Barnett, Chief Executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, summed up today’s Budget.

Mr Barnett saw lots of positives in the Budget for long term macro settings to lift productivity and growth.

- The Kiwisaver scheme will help improve New Zealanders’ savings record and long term create a needed pool for investment.

- The business tax cuts gets us closer to competing with Australia, but delaying introduction will still leave NZ in catch up mode.

- The many initiatives on skills training and R&D will encourage business.

- The market development package will help more businesses look harder at exporting, but only for those who can dollar for dollar match the Government contribution.

These are all good measures, emphasised Mr Barnett and are needed long term.

“But to my mind our problems are urgent; we need to get beyond gradualism. If we are going to be an exceptional country and transform our economy, we need to do exceptional things that are transformational.”

Given our deeply ingrained skills shortage and litany of companies heading offshore, a more radical Budget with more immediate impact and urgency would seem to have been called for.


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