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NZers pay twice with Govt. tariff decisions

Lockwood Smith
Opposition Commerce Spokesperson

11 April 2000

NZers pay twice with Govt. tariff decisions

New Zealanders will pay twice - with higher prices and fewer jobs - following this Government's decision to freeze tariff reductions, Opposition Commerce spokesperson Lockwood Smith said today.

"The Government has got it completely wrong if it thinks freezing tariffs will be good for the country, the economy and for jobs.

"Far from it. Tariffs cost jobs. They suppress economic growth and growth means more jobs.

"There is robust analysis from the OECD and APEC that shows tariffs cost the countries that have them in jobs and higher prices. The Government will have received advice from the Ministry of Economic Development and Treasury about the negative impact of the decision not to reduce tariffs. The Minister should make the advice public.

"The impact of tariff reductions are real and positive. They mean cheaper goods for families, they mean cheaper raw materials for manufacturers, and are good for exporters.

"This Government has got it wrong and New Zealanders will pay the price."

Ends

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