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Vision and direction will lift growth

Vision and direction will lift growth

National's Finance spokesman, Don Brash, is predicting tough times ahead for the country's economy unless the Government comes up with a solid framework to lift our long-term growth prospects.

Speaking at the National Party Annual Conference in Christchurch today, Dr Brash attacked the Government's lack of vision and direction in taking New Zealand forward.

"The present Government talks about the importance of economic growth, but it is empty rhetoric," said Dr Brash. "Almost everything they actually do creates more barriers to economic growth.

He said faster growth should be the number one goal for any government trying to build a prosperous society with world-class health care, good quality education, well-developed infrastructure, strong employment opportunities and a respect for the natural environment.

"For this, we need a culture which understands the role and importance of enterprise, which celebrates successful businesses and successful business people. Sadly this isn't happening in New Zealand."

Dr Brash targeted several goals for National in the development of key policy areas.

He talked of the need to limit the growth of the public sector relative to GDP "if we are to have any chance of materially raising our rate of economic growth and providing to New Zealanders a standard of living comparable to that in Australia and other developed countries."

He reiterated National's call for tax cuts and an end to the anti-business policies choking growth. He also called for a review of the Crown's balance sheet and for better development of infrastructure, biosecurity systems and immigration policy.

"National is committed to these goals. If we can get policy right in key areas, we have a good chance of raising New Zealand's long-term growth rate for the benefit of all.

"Labour won't and can't do it. National can and will," said Dr Brash.

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