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Understanding NZ's Unique Business

15 April 2002

"New Zealand is not a nation of large corporates, but a country of small businesses that want to become bigger," says National's Finance spokesman David Carter.

"In this regard, New Zealand business is unique and that's why National's economic strategy of lifting the country's long-term growth rates specifically targets people in business. Two-thirds of our businesses are owner-operators and are unaffected by corporate tax rates - personal tax affects them.

Mr Carter says people in business are not only worried about tax. He says they are also concerned about the high level of compliance costs Government has imposed on them.

"I've worked and run small businesses and I know what people in business want. National's economic strategy will deliver."

Mr Carter says the strategy includes measures that will reduce business compliance costs. It also proposes a major review of legislation - like the RMA -that imposes costs on business and stops it from growing.

"Our strategy is designed to allow business to get on with doing business - by lowering costs and removing roadblocks to growth.

"Around 85 per cent of New Zealand businesses employ five people or less. Imagine the impact on our economy by making it easier for each of these businesses to take on one extra employee."

Mr Carter says tax reductions are an important part of the economic strategy as New Zealand is a highly taxed country.

"National firmly believes that operating budget surpluses belong to all New Zealanders, so after the Government has paid for the quality essential services any excess tax should be returned to taxpayers.

"If we are determined to raise New Zealand's long-term economic performance we need substantial changes to current policy. National has designed its strategy so New Zealand can grow and climb its way back into the top half of the OECD," Mr Carter concluded.

Ends

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