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New Zealanders will pay for low confidence

This continued collapse in business confidence will mean trouble for New Zealand businesses and families over the next two years, Opposition Finance spokesperson Bill English said today.

"Confidence is what underpins future economic growth

"Despite economic growth approaching 5 percent, business sentiment has turned negative and this will mean less investment and fewer jobs.

"The negative sentiment is strongest in the domestic sectors of the economy, and there's a simple reason why: businesses and families will take a battering, facing higher taxes, higher prices for cigarettes, and the lower dollar leading to significant price increase for imported goods.

"Businesses have gradually realised this is a truly Left-wing government. They thought they were voting in a Government that was going to be "pro-growth" and "pro-jobs". Instead we have seen the renationalisation of ACC, the Employment Relations Bill, a freeze on tariff reductions and higher taxes.

"On top of that we have the Deputy Prime Minister and the Treasurer publicly disagreeing on the cornerstones of economic policy - overseas investment and monetary policy.

"The Government has the opportunity in the Budget to turn confidence around and build bridges to business.

"But the confidence survey shows there is a yawning chasm between the Government's economic policy and New Zealanders' future prosperity.

"Every move the Government makes to bridge the gap will be fought by its own Left wing who have waited 25 years for this change in economic direction. They won't give up without a fight," Mr English said.

Ends

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