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John Tamihere's Toothless Shark

John Tamihere's Toothless Shark

The National Party is releasing documents that it says proves the Government is only paying lip service to its much-lauded Small Business Advisory Group.

"It's clear now that the Advisory Group is being used as a public relations vehicle so the Government is able to claim that it's talking to small to medium sized businesses," says National Party Deputy Finance spokesman John Key.

"But the Group's only met once and its advice is not being taken," says Mr Key.

Papers released under the Official Information Act show that in its first official capacity the group advised the Government not to support four weeks annual leave.

"The Small Business Advisory Group argued that the current three weeks leave provisions were sufficient and the change would impose significant and unnecessary costs on employers.

"The Advisory Group also raised the alarm on proposed changes to the Employment Relations Act in relation to sale or transfer of business and contracting out.

"This makes a mockery of claims made on December 4 by Small Business Minister, John Tamihere. He said the group 'provides a powerful voice for small businesses and is being listened to'.

"The plain truth is that this group fills an important role in the Government's propaganda machine.

"When it comes to the real issues, like building a pro-growth economy, Labour is treating the Small Business Advisory Group with the same arrogant contempt that it treats anyone who disagrees with its PC agenda," says Mr Key.

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