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Productivity the path to prosperity

Don Brash National Finance Spokesman

27 June 2003

Productivity the path to prosperity

The release today of a major report on productivity should silence once and for all the clamour against the reforms of the 80's and 90's, says National's Finance spokesman, Don Brash.

The Treasury report Productivity in New Zealand 1988 to 2002 shows a marked improvement in New Zealand's productivity growth over the 90's.

"Productivity is the building block to growth and this report shows the reforms of the 80's and 90's did lead to higher rates of productivity growth," says Dr Brash.

"This flies in the face of the reforms' harshest critics, including Helen Clark who used this year's Knowledge Wave conference to label them "discredited and discarded."

"Interestingly, the findings mirror a recent Labour Department study which indicated a rise in New Zealand's productivity since the early 1990's and said New Zealand needs more capitalism, not less... Fiscal policy should not scare capital and labour away from New Zealand by over-taxing them," says Dr Brash.

"But try telling that to the Government. Rather than investing in any sound ideas to lift New Zealand's long-term growth prospects, Labour is instead hell-bent on destroying the climate for business growth.

"If we are to have any chance of closing the gap in living standards between New Zealand and Australia, we have to boost productivity. This won't come from a Government that over-taxes and over-regulates the brightest and best in this country.

"Nor will it come from a Government that ignores falling education standards and the problem of growing welfare dependency," says Dr Brash.


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