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Rising dollar has Cullen sweating

David Carter National Finance Spokesperson

5 June 2002

Rising dollar has Cullen sweating

"The ever-increasing dollar has Michael Cullen worried because it will reveal that his Government's policies have done nothing to support business or improve the prospects of higher sustainable growth," says National's Finance spokesman David Carter.

Mr Carter says throughout the Government's term, Dr Cullen has been able to rely on a low exchange rate to provide the country with an economic boost.

"Up until now, because of the low exchange rate, the Government has got away with having no serious plan for long term growth."

However, Mr Carter says there is far more to having a competitive economy than just the exchange rate.

"Things like the regulatory environment, compliance costs, the tax burden and the quality of Government investment and spending all matter.

"Yet as our exchange rate rises, all New Zealand businesses will be left with is more regulation, higher compliance costs, higher taxes and a Government hell-bent on ratifying Kyoto without knowing the costs to business.

"Exporters can be justifiably asking Dr Cullen what he's done for competitiveness and the only realistic answer he can give is 'nothing'."

Mr Carter says - unlike National, which has a serious and credible economic plan - the Government has no recipe for sustainable growth of 4 per cent to help New Zealand move back into the top half of the OECD.

"It's no wonder that Dr Cullen is getting nervous about the rising dollar. He's worried that his policies will now come under some real scrutiny and this only adds to the all speculation about a snap election."

Ends

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