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No growth Budget squanders opportunities

No growth Budget squanders opportunities

National's Finance spokesman Don Brash says today's Budget proves the Government has no credible plan to lift New Zealand's economic growth prospects.

"Dr Cullen promised a 'nothing' Budget and he delivered. There is nothing to encourage investment and enterprise, nothing to deal with major infrastructure problems, nothing to tackle welfare dependency and nothing to cut the bureaucracy choking growth.

"All it shows is that the Government hasn't yet come up with a plan for achieving long-term sustainable growth. Labour has failed to realise it is this, and only this, that will return New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD. Instead, it has dropped the ball.

"So what has the Budget delivered? A few handouts to try and solve a few problems in the hope of picking a few winners, and the promise of a vote-buying spree next year.

"This Budget should be about boosting skills and productivity. It should be about encouraging business investment and encouraging our brightest and best to live and work here. It should be about lifting growth.

"Dr Cullen has been quick to congratulate himself on his fiscal prudence. But tough times are looming and the fiscal reins will loosen, especially under pressure from spending-eager Ministers.

"Unlike today's Budget, National has a comprehensive plan to lift New Zealand long-term economic performance.

"We would reduce taxes and reward success, we would fix the roading crisis, we would deal to excessive regulation choking business growth and we would attack the major problems in our schools and the social welfare system.

"Anything less - as we've seen today - is just tinkering," says Dr Brash.

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