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Deny The Brain Drain Now, Prime Minister

The Prime Minister must explain why she has denied the brain drain for two years, only to have it confirmed by her overseas consultancy firm, ACT Immigration Spokesman MP Penny Webster said today.

"For two years, I've been pointing out that vast numbers of talented young New Zealanders choose not to live or work in our country. ACT has stood alone in highlighting this as a problem. Ms Clark has been like a broken record - `there is no brain drain'.

"The L.E.K. Consulting report creates a very sticky situation for Ms Clark. It confirms what every New Zealander with an ounce of common sense knows - the brain drain is chronic. Twenty percent of New Zealanders choose to escape our country's economic climate.

"Twenty percent of Kiwis choose not to live in New Zealand, but Ms Clark still doesn't think there's a problem. She needs to be aware that the Kiwis who came home because of September 11, 2001 aren't going to stay here.

"Ms Clark must tell us what prompted Treasury to create the highly political `Brain Gain' report midway through last year that strangely echoed her head-in-the-sand approach.

"Above all, the Prime Minister must face the facts. Labour's economic and social direction is not going to bring people home. High taxes and stagnant growth are not the answer," Mrs Webster said.


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