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Brash fails to understand nature of modern economy

18 November 2003

Matt Robson MP, Progressive Party Deputy Leader

Brash fails to understand nature of modern economy

National leader Don Brash's simplistic comments in Parliament today attacking the Progressives' initiative to extend four weeks annual leave to all working families highlights his party's failure to understand the nature of the modern economy, Progressive Party deputy leader, Matt Robson, said today.

"Don Brash attacked the Progressives' four weeks leave initiative on the grounds that it is a cost to business.

"His commitment to reverse four weeks leave again highlights the backward thinking of the conservative parties. They are out of touch and delude themselves that we can successfully compete in the global market on the basis of low costs and cheap labour alone," Matt Robson said.

"We tried that approach under National-led governments last century. It was a policy that enriched a minority but meant stagnation for many and poverty for too many, " Matt Robson said.

"In this century, governments have to rise to the challenge of promoting creativity and innovation through partnership with industry. It is a message the Labour Progressive coalition understands which is why we work in partnership with local industries, regions and communities. We are steadily leveraging more out of our existing competitive advantages that we have to promote stronger social and economic development, " Matt Robson said.

"Four weeks annual leave is a critical financial issue in the battle to keep low income families in the productive workforce contributing to New Zealand's economic development.

"The financial cost of balancing work and family responsibilities is too high or on the margin of being unaffordable for many low income two parent families. Four weeks leave is long overdue for this part of the productive workforce and is vital in the campaign to keep people out of the welfare system and inside the productive workforce.

"National Party politicians don't understand New Zealand today," Matt Robson said.

ENDS

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