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Progressives say No to Currency Union

16 July 2002

Jim Anderton, MP and candidate for Wigram

Progressives say No to Currency Union

Progressive Coalition leader Jim Anderton says currency union is on the hidden agenda of opposition parties, and he won't have a bar of it.

"Over the last two years, Bill English, Don Brash and Richard Prebble have all made statements that currency union is something that should be seriously considered.

“This is an idea that should be stopped in its tracks.

"Australia will not change its currency, so currency union for New Zealand would mean adopting the Australian dollar.

"That would mean New Zealand will lose control of our own interest rates and exchange rate.

"The Reserve Bank of Australia would increase interest rates and the exchange rate when Australian inflation was rising. Jobs would be lost in New Zealand if Sydney house prices and world uranium prices rose.

"Currency union would not make our exchange rate more stable. The really big fluctuations in our exchange rate are against the US dollar and the Euro. These would continue in a currency union with Australia.

“Even though Australia is our single largest trading partner, more of our trade is transacted in US dollars. Any savings from reduced exchange rate fluctuation would only apply to exporters whose sole market was Australia or markets that had also adopted the Australian currency.

"The exchange rate is an important safety valve for the economy. Changes in the exchange rate allow our economy to adjust to outside factors such as falling world prices.

“If that safety valve is not available then the strain has to be taken in other ways such as falling real incomes or higher unemployment," Jim Anderton said.

Ends

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