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Labour Must Address Trade Deficit

Labour Must Address Trade Deficit

Wednesday 27 Aug 2003 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Economy

ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader and Trade Spokesman Ken Shirley today accused the Labour Government of running New Zealand trade into the ground, in light of new information showing the largest trade deficit in almost 17 years.

"Figures released today have shown that the estimated trade balance for July 2003 is a deficit of $471 million - the worst trade deficit, with the exception of July 1997, in almost 20 years," Mr Shirley said.

"While imports have increased over recent months, to $32,119 million, exports have steadily declined since March 2002, to $29,002. Yet rather than nurturing our most productive export-earning sectors, in a bid to address this huge discrepancy, Labour chooses to attack.

"Increased ACC levies, petrol tax and the signing of the Kyoto Protocol - not to mention the proposed Flatulence Tax - have all increased the burden on the rural sector. Has the Government forgotten that the rural sector provides the backbone of our economy?

"Constant Government pressure is breaking that backbone. It is time Labour opened its eyes and realised that such a deficit will not remain isolated for long. The Government must address its priorities, before this deficit seeps through to damage our wider economy," Mr Shirley said.


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