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Is this what Jim Anderton calls 'picking winners'?

John Key National Associate Commerce Spokesperson

30 June 2003

Is this what Jim Anderton calls 'picking winners'?

The news that the New Zealand operation of EDS has posted a substantial loss of $53 million will have Ministry of Economic Development officials racing to look at the fine print of the deal the company signed with them, says National's Associate Commerce spokesperson, John Key.

"If this is what Jim Anderton calls picking winners, then I won't ask him for a tip for the Rugby World Cup.

"The deal signed between the Ministry and EDS included a statement that the $1.5 million gifted would be paid back if the promised jobs didn't materialise.

"But can the Minister assure us the deal will still stick if the New Zealand operation of the company is facing any uncertainty?" asks Mr Key.

"This shambles proves, yet again, that Jim Anderton's programme of corporate welfare is not the long-term solution needed for lifting the New Zealand economy.

"If he wants to help business, the Minister should be assisting every company in New Zealand by insisting the Finance Minister lowers corporate tax, reduces compliance costs and streamlines the RMA process.

"Business needs constructive assistance - not Santa Jim handing out money on an ad hoc basis," says Mr Key.

Ends


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