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Hodgson's Weak Joke

Hodgson's Weak Joke

Pete Hodgson's feeble attack on the ACT Party as anti-business is just laughable, ACT New Zealand Commerce Spokesman Deborah Coddington said this morning.

"Yesterday I caught Mr Hodgson out over his Government's shonky "picking winners" policy - handing out taxpayers' money to those who are best at lobbying or cosying up to the Prime Minister.

"ACT is the only free-market, pro-business, classical liberal party in Parliament.

"We constantly campaign for high economic growth by promoting lower, flatter taxes, a huge reduction in business regulation and compliance costs, and free trade with our international partners.

"Labour, on the other hand promotes contemporary socialism. Just last night the Climate Change Response Bill - Hodgson's very own baby hatched with Helen Clark - is one of the most frightening pieces of legislation to go through the House since the days of Think Big.

"This country is still paying for Think Big. If Muldoon hadn't pushed those projects every New Zealander would be about $100,000 better off.

"The implications for New Zealand in ratifying the Kyoto Protocol are exactly the same. We will be much poorer. Everything you buy - from bread at the corner dairy to petrol at the garage will be more expensive. Then there's the OSH Bill which will make employers liable for $500,000 fines if their workers are stressed or tired.

"Is this pro-business?

"Treasury papers released under the Official Information Act show that the Government was warned:

"There is not a large amount of empirical evidence to show how Governments can successfully pick and target the right sectors. There are also risks that Government assistance will float a sector with powerful lobby groups..NZ experienced these sorts of political economy problems in the course of implementing policy in the 1960s and 1970s."

"We've just been told this country has fallen six places in a survey of international competitiveness. Hands-on corporate welfare doesn't work and Helen Clark's Government should wake up to the fact that its policies are anti-business," Miss Coddington said.

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