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Social and economic development go hand in hand

Social and economic development go hand in hand

Social and economic development go hand-in-hand, Economic Development Minister and Progressive Leader, Jim Anderton, said on Thursday.

"You'll never find a Third World country with a First World education or health service.

"While achieving a First World economy doesn't guarantee First World social services, having a strong economy does give a society the choice of investing in the education, health and welfare of its people in a way that just isn't available to poor performing economies," the Progressive leader said.

Jim Anderton was commenting on research findings commissioned by Industry New Zealand. One conclusion of the research was that just 6% of those surveyed mentioned the contribution private firms and "the economy" can make toward building an ideal society.

The Progressive leader said there was no doubt that the best anti-poverty campaign is one that gets people out of welfare and into jobs, training or education.

"If we had grown by just one per cent a year more than we had since 1970, that would have meant extra incomes for the average worker of $175 a week. It would mean, for health, another $3.7 billion a year. It would also mean another $4.2 billion for education or $3500 per student each year.

"If New Zealand's economy had grown just 1% a year faster than it did since 1970, we could have invested twice as much per capita on roads over the last thirty years.

"You can't emphazise enough the link between economic development and social justice, or the relationship between economic development and jobs or the campaign to eradicate poverty and raise the standards of social services," Jim Anderton said.

The Progressive leader emphasized that lifting New Zealand's economic development performance, and nourishing a culture that celebrates innovation and creativity, requires active participation by all sectors of society.

"It requires us to foster intelligent partnerships between firms, within sectors and across regions - involving the private sector, voluntary organizations and government agencies - working in one direction - to get the most out of the natural resources and advantages that we have to better leverage off the business opportunities both in New Zealand and overseas," Jim Anderton said.

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