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Govt. must finally face up to costs of ERB

The Government must finally face up to the reality that it is gambling with New Zealanders' jobs and futures by pressing on with the Employment Relations Bill, National Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

"The Government is facing opposition at every turn to the legislation with huge fears about job losses and investor confidence," Mrs Shipley said in Parliament's debate of the report-back of the Bill

"During the select committee report back debate in Parliament today, Labour dismissed New Zealanders' worries as scare-mongering.

"Labour and the Alliance need to get real. In the past few days the Government has been given clear messages at every turn that the Employment Relations Bill is bad for jobs.

"Why won't Labour and the Alliance listen to the Nursery & Garden Industry Association who have today said the Bill will mean more costs and uncertainty and no growth.

"And what about the Business and Industry Association, representing 70,000 small businesses who are concerned that unions' 'ability to use strike action for multi-employer agreements could paralyse whole sectors of the economy'.

"Then there's the report today in the International Herald Tribune which states, 'New Zealand is backing away from the global marketplace, is losing its economic dynamism and is losing the battle to prevent a brain drain'.

"But the Government does not listen. The select committee report-back debate in Parliament gives cold comfort to people wanting jobs and wanting their small businesses to thrive and prosper.

"The New Zealand Government is alone in the world in wanting to go backwards.

"National will be vigorously opposing the Employment Relations Bill.

"In government, National will replace it with legislation that understands the reality of working in the 21st century."

Ends

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