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National Plans For A World-Class Economy

15 April 2002

"National is embarking on a programme of raising long term growth rates because meeting New Zealanders' growing expectations requires a strong, sustainably growing economy," says National's Leader Bill English.

"In the past, Governments have waited for times of economic crisis before making fundamental decisions about the country's economic direction. I believe there is now an opportunity for New Zealand to embark on a plan to increase our long-term growth rates. "

Mr English was commenting at today's announcement of National's economic strategy for the 2002 election, which targets sustainable growth rates of greater than 4 per cent a year for New Zealand.

"Our Plan for Prosperity includes a number of strategies aimed at achieving this goal. Things such as upskilling our workforce, cutting business compliance costs and red tape, creating an environment that supports innovation, encouraging private/public investment partnerships, as well as lowering taxes - both business and personal - are all important and included in our strategy.

"The benefits of a strong economy will give us the capacity to deliver quality health and education that New Zealanders are demanding as well as providing opportunities for our young people to live and work here."

Mr English says the strategy is a serious and substantial programme for growth, but there will inevitably be a focus on the tax reductions in the policy.

"Lower taxes are good for the economy and National makes no apologies for implementing policies that will encourage growth and benefit all New Zealanders.

We don't believe in the politics of envy where people are needlessly punished for being successful."

Mr English says National can afford tax reductions because it is not committed to the Cullen fund and it will also retain similar increases in social spending that the Government currently is.

"We can't have world-class health and education without a world-class economy and National's economic strategy is firmly focussed on helping us achieve this goal," Mr English concluded.

Ends

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