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Export income hits rock bottom

Dr Hon Lockwood Smith National Trade Spokesperson

25 July 2003

Export income hits rock bottom

Trade figures out today showing the biggest deficit in ten years spells bad news for our economy, says National's Trade Spokesperson Dr Lockwood Smith.

"This reaffirms views that the economy has shrunk over the last quarter. The strengthening dollar coupled with low commodity prices is placing extreme pressure on our exporters' bottom lines.

"And this Labour Government is showing no mercy to our most productive export-earning sectors.

"The Government has introduced 18 new taxes and they are well on the road to implementing another seven. Through increasing costs the Government is eroding the competitive advantage of New Zealand business.

"These ever-increasing compliance costs are forcing some New Zealand exporters to breaking-point. Yesterday successful outdoor equipment and apparel company, Macpac, announced huge staff layoffs and the closure of their manufacturing branch in New Zealand for these very reasons.

"Exporters are the backbone of our economy, and by continually hammering them with increasing costs the Government is ensuring that New Zealand will never get back into the top half of the OECD", says Dr Smith.


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