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Go Dr Fogelberg

Go Dr Fogelberg

ACT New Zealand applauds the stinging attack launched on the Government earlier this week by one of this country's leading academics, ACT Commerce Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"As reported in "Tertiary Update", Vice Chancellor of Otago University Dr Graeme Fogelberg described Government plans to set tuition fee maxima for tertiary institutions as 'the worst kind of interfering by Government in university affairs' and said the legislation, which would allow the Government to set maximum fee levels for academic courses, was the 'worst piece of legislation' that he had seen in New Zealand. Continuing his attack, Dr Fogelberg compared the proposal to the Muldoon era and said it was price fixing of the 'worst kind'.

"The similarities between the Muldoon tax-and-spend, command and control 'economics of fear' (as Australian journalist Paddy McGuinness famously called Muldoon's reign) and Helen Clark's Elizabethan Court Government are numerous," Miss Coddington said.

"Muldoon bullied and dumped anyone who showed the whites of their eyes or who questioned his power base. Look at Clark. Just after she became Prime Minister she got Kit Richards shunted from SOE Timberlands for sending a private email questioning the morality of Labour's unilateral breach of the West Coast Accord. She's dumped on many others since then, including her one-time friend Dr Ross Armstrong.

"Muldoon tried to pick winners by handing out scarce taxpayers' money to industry sectors. It didn't grow the economy then and it won't grow it now - as official Treasury papers released to ACT demonstrate. Clark was warned by Treasury that picking winners just encourages unproductive (for the economy) lobbying.

"There haven't been any Japanese climbers ordered off Mt Cook but I'm sure Clark would have ordered Miss New Zealand not to visit Nigeria if she'd been able.

"If Helen Clark is serious about getting New Zealand's economic growth up to four per cent plus so New Zealanders can afford the same sort of lifestyles as our Australian friends then this Government has to face the truth. It has to stop passing legislation that strangles commercial enterprise and job creation - the OSH Amendment Bill which is already leading to employers not taking on more staff, the Climate Change Response Bill which will raise petrol taxes, the Paid Parental Leave Bill which will dump on productivity.

"Before Christmas Labour will introduce its Transport Bill which, unlike the name, will be more about sustainable development in the environment and will do nothing to improve the road networks which are costing this country more than $2 billion because, in Auckland especially, people who should trading money and goods are stuck in traffic.

"At least Muldoon had his good points - like intelligence and decisiveness. Our current Prime Minister is simply a latter day Elizabethan Queen."

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