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Business NZ response to financial crisis

Media release
October 30 2008

Business NZ response to financial crisis

Business NZ today released recommendations for improving New Zealand’s growth prospects in the light of the global financial crisis.

Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says the recommendations are principles-based and part of a coherent plan, not knee-jerk responses that could preclude growth in the longer term.

He says the crisis was not caused by a failure of markets or a failure of capitalism. Instead, it was caused by inappropriate interventions by governments and central banks.

“Part of the solution to the current crisis will be to reduce inappropriate interventions here in New Zealand, to better allow private sector business to lead us out of the downturn.

“Only business, not governments, can create real wealth. By creating the framework for this to happen - improving our regulatory policies and productivity - we could do a great deal to shore up our economic prospects.”

Recommendations from Business NZ include slowing down the implementation of the emissions trading scheme and bringing forward personal tax cuts and efficiency- based infrastructure investment.

Mr O’Reilly says times of financial crisis heighten the need for more flexibility in labour markets to help as many people as possible into jobs.

“Unnecessary regulation can result in people being locked out of the workforce and we think the Government’s response to the crisis should include enhanced access to jobs. Relaxing the strict rules on trial periods and fixed term contracts would help more into the workforce.”

Other recommendations include improving job-employee matching systems, increasing transition assistance associated with new job opportunities and better coordination of service delivery around job opportunities and social welfare.

Given the volatile nature of the current economic situation, Mr O’Reilly says Business NZ stands ready, on behalf of its members, to work with the incoming government to frame these proposals in more detail.

Business NZ recommendations: response to global financial crisis can be downloaded here or from under ‘commentaries’.


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