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Let small business survive and prosper

Don Brash National Finance Spokesman

25 August 2003

Let small business survive and prosper

The National Party wants to know how New Zealand can achieve a higher sustainable growth rate while red tape tightens its stranglehold on small business.

"The grip that compliance costs now have on business is clearly wrecking any chances we have of returning to the top half of the OECD," says National's Finance spokesman Don Brash.

Dr Brash was commenting on the compliance cost survey released today by Business New Zealand and KPMG, which shows that the burden of red tape on the business sector is getting ever heavier.

"This survey is conclusive proof that compliance costs are impacting particularly severely on small businesses - which means most New Zealand businesses," says Dr Brash.

"There are more than quarter of a million small to medium-sized businesses in the country employing nearly 600,000 people. It's staggering that many of these are having to bear compliance costs of $3400 per employee per year.

"That's a burden six times higher than that carried by larger businesses."

Dr Brash says it is worrying - but not surprising - that the survey highlights health and safety regulations, the ERA, ACC and the Resource Management Act as major problem areas for business.

"And this doesn't take into account the extra burden business will undoubtedly bear with Labour's proposals to return to its trade union roots.

"The Government just doesn't get it. Piling on the paperwork by passing more laws doesn't help businesses grow - it is like asking them to run with a 40kg pack on their back.

"What New Zealand businesses need are innovative strategies to help them survive and prosper. They need to get out of the slow lane of red tape and regulation, and get on with doing the job," says Dr Brash.


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