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Keep Up The Momentum - National

8 February 2000

National challenges Government: keep up the momentum for New Zealanders

The Leader of the Opposition Jenny Shipley has challenged the Government to keep up National’s momentum in office on the key economic and social initiatives and indicators.

Speaking in today’s debate in reply to the Speech from the Throne in Parliament, Mrs Shipley said the Government’s first challenge was to equal National’s record in job growth and economic growth, as a minimum.

“With current positive growth and employment projections, the groundwork of which was laid by my Government, Labour and the Alliance should be able to deliver;
 1,808,960 people in work by December this year
 1,846 920 in work by December 2001 and
 1,875,390 in work by December 2002.

“What really matters to New Zealanders are the basic things like jobs. That is what we will hold this Government accountable for.

“To match the last 12 months job growth rate, means finding 47,000 new jobs, or 901 per week,” Mrs Shipley said.

“National left an economy that would definitely achieve those targets if no major changes were made to the economic policy framework.

“We will hold Labour accountable for continued good economic performance. Mr Anderton has promised 75 – 80,000 new jobs, above and beyond what National could have delivered. We will monitor job growth figures and ensure that he is achieving his ambitious targets.

“Similarly with unemployment rates, when we left office, unemployment was 6.3% and it has been dropping an average 0.5% a year since September 1991. Given that trend, we will expect Labour and the Alliance to have unemployment rates down to 5.6% in September 2000, 5.1% in September 2001, and 4.7 % in September 2002.

“These are the standards we would have lived up to in office, and we will ensure, on behalf of New Zealanders, that this Government continues to make growth of jobs and reductions in unemployment a priority,” Mrs Shipley said.

Ends

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