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Compliance costs report misses the point

Don Brash National Finance Spokesman

2 July 2003

Compliance costs report misses the point

National's Finance spokesman Don Brash says it's premature of the Government to claim credit for 'making excellent progress' in reducing compliance costs for business.

"The Government's self-congratulation over its compliance cost reduction programme misses two vital points - first, more than a third of the recommendations have not been acted on and, secondly, the list of new compliance costs continues to grow.

"The Minister for Small Business is obviously trying to defuse the business sector's growing anger over compliance costs by putting out a very selective 'progress' report on the recommendations.

"But he's still got a long way to go to even keep pace with the mounting red tape suffocating business," says Dr Brash.

"Back in 2001, the sector told the Ministerial Panel on Compliance Costs what they needed to help this country's economy grow but many of their recommendations were ignored.

"Instead the Government has piled on a raft of anti-business regulation - from the Local Government Act, the Holidays Act, Kyoto and heavy-handed labour laws to increases in ACC levies, the petrol tax and this latest preposterous idea of a 'flatulence' tax.

"Rather than rushing to pat itself on the back for a job partly done, the Government should be working to cut business costs and pull back on the bureaucratic nonsense choking New Zealand's growth prospects," says Dr Brash. Ends

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