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Innovation Strategy Must Measure Up

"The Government's upcoming "Innovation Strategy" - to be released next week - needs to be benchmarked against the recommendations which came out of last year's Knowledge Wave conference and National's 1999 Bright Futures package," says National Finance spokesman David Carter.

However, Mr Carter believes the much-hyped strategy, rather than measuring up to these earlier proposals for economic growth, will only create more committees and impose additional bureaucrats on to business.

"The Labour/Alliance coalition has been loud on rhetoric, but light on delivery. A public relations strategy to the business sector is no substitute for a sound, economic strategy for the country.

"Unfortunately, this Government's track record of delivering for business and the economy has been to lower expectations - such as an annual growth rate of just two per cent," he added.

"In the past two years Helen Clark and Michael Cullen have locked business into lower expectations by - among other things - renationalising ACC, increasing taxes, introducing laws allowing employees to sue their bosses for stress and failing to nullify the worst excesses of the RMA.

"On top of this, it has added greatly to business compliance costs through changes to OSH and labour laws."

Mr Carter says the Government doesn't seem to realise that its intention to ratify the Kyoto Protocol - ahead of our major trading partners - is going to impose more costs on business and further reduce New Zealand's international competitiveness.

"While Helen Clark may think that being "boring and predictable" is good enough, National doesn't accept that "boring and predictable" is a competent, economic strategy for New Zealand," he says.

"National is ambitious for our country's future prospects. This ambition was first outlined in our 1999 "Bright Futures" package, which set a number of high, but attainable goals to help lift the nation's economic potential.

"If the Government wants to claim similar ambition for New Zealand and is serious about moving our economy ahead, then this and the Knowledge Wave recommendations are the benchmarks which its "Innovation Strategy" should be measured against," Mr Carter concluded.


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