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Business confidence slumps to 1985 levels

Business confidence slumps to 1985 levels

The sharp fall in business confidence in the NZIER March survey reflects the damaging consequences of the Government's policies on New Zealand's growth prospects, says National's Finance spokesman, Don Brash.

"The figures show business confidence is now at its lowest level since 1985.

"While there are obviously factors beyond the Government's control, like the war on Iraq and SARS, these are short-term factors which are simply compounding a much greater problem.

"Today's survey highlights increasing concern about the Government's total indifference to the wellbeing of the wealth-creating sector - the failure to fix the problems of the Resource Management Act, the burden of extra costs on small businesses through changes to the Health and Safety in Employment legislation and the threat of rising costs through changes to holidays legislation.

"Overriding all of this is the current climate of political correctness which is hampering businesses from just getting on with the job.

"The burden of increased costs was also reflected in a survey released this week by the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern), which showed a slump in confidence.

"The tragedy is not just that business confidence has fallen so sharply, but that there is nothing on the horizon to lift our long-term growth performance. That is the real worry," says Dr Brash.

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