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Incoming Gov Must Give Priority To Competitiveness

Incoming Government Must Give Priority To Cost Competitiveness

21 October 1999

PR112/99

INCOMING GOVERNMENT MUST GIVE PRIORITY TO COST COMPETITIVENESS

Federated Farmers said today that the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update (PREFU) again proved that primary exports are the core of the New Zealand economy, and policy changes after the General Election must reflect that importance.

Federated Farmers President Alistair Polson said that the PREFU clearly stated that it was the export sector, the bulk of which was primary industry, which would create New Zealand's economic growth.

"It is beginning to sound like a broken record - our exporting industries are the ones that must take primacy in policy making, because they are the ones that are going to grow New Zealand's economy. No matter how often that is restated, the focus of central and local government policy making shifts away from the export sector."

Mr Polson said that after the election, the incoming government had to prioritise cost competitiveness. "For example, the National Government's Resource Management Act is too frequently a barrier to new economic development, adding costs to development, without always delivering the environmental results."

"Similarly, Labour's promotion of unionism will probably stifle needed productivity growth in some industries. A re-nationalisation of ACC will also just add to costs, without any benefit to employees, employers or New Zealand."

"Governments of whatever ilk have to realise that New Zealand must retain and improve cost competitiveness if our economy is going to deliver. Costs added onto our exports through clumsy and ill-targeted policy changes will cripple our exporters."

"Export industries work hard to succeed on the world market place. Extra costs are the last thing they need. If exporters can't succeed, then New Zealand won't," concluded Mr Polson.

ENDS

For further information: Alistair Polson 06-342-2853 or 025-370-085 Catherine Petrey 04-473-7269




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