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6 point business election wish list pragmatic, doable

Media statement embargoed to Wednesday, June 25, 2014

6 point business election wish list pragmatic, doable

An overhaul of local government consenting processes, employment readiness certificates for school leavers, automatic extensions of migrant work visas, soft loans to encourage innovation, and reducing the tax on Kiwisaver savings to 15 per cent – these are among the Employers and Manufacturers Association targets in its Election Manifesto 2014 issued today.

“Our businesses generate the employment and revenue that pay the taxes on which the government depends, and they deserve a positive policy environment,” said Kim Campbell, EMA’s chief executive.

“They should not be taken for granted.

“The six Manifesto policy areas are:
1. Education and skills
2. Innovation, Research and Development
3. Local government Consenting
4. Small Business Growth
5. Superannuation and Business Investment
6. Retaining certain Current Policies

(The full Manifesto is here.)

“Employers want schools to advise on the preparedness of school leavers for work by issuing them an Employment Readiness Certificate.

“They also want schools to help with a campaign that urges more students to take up a career in a trade.

“Business wants more investment in innovation and R&D by broadening and simplifying access to grants, accelerated depreciation, tax credits and by introducing soft loans as many other countries do.

“They want local authorities to set standards for the time taken to issue resource and building consents, with unreasonable standards subject to judicial review.

“Other measures sought are:
• For experienced company directors to be appointed to small businesses with less liability than others
• Encourage small business mergers
• Raise the age of eligibility for superannuation to 67 by 2023
• Reduce tax on Kiwisaver to 15 per cent
• For government to underwrite a commercial annuity product

“Businesses also want many existing measures retained, including:
• Comprehensive GST
• Advance FTA negotiations
• Retain trial employment periods and youth rates
• Retain or reduce ACC levy rates.”

ENDS

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