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Productivity working party? No thanks

John Key MP
National Deputy Finance Spokesperson
February 19th 2004

Productivity working party? No thanks

The Government should abandon its plans for yet another spin machine unless it is prepared to address the real issues and take heed of the message that is delivered, says National Party Deputy Finance Spokesman John Key

"The Government is set to announce a new group, whose role will be advising on how to improve New Zealand's productivity rate. Like other similar groups, it will be a dismal failure.

"The only thing they achieve is to act as decoy for an anti-business Government, using them as a charade to pretend they are business-friendly and interested in listening to the business message.

"Documents obtained under the OIA show that senior Ministers would not listen to its own Small Business Group when it came to four weeks holiday or contracting provisions on the sale of a business," said Mr Key.

"Even more troubling is that some members of the Growth and Innovation Advisory Board have admitted they have all but given up after being told in no uncertain terms that key policy planks of this Government were out of bounds.

"It's no wonder the Boards have failed and that a number of senior private sector leaders approached by the Government have rejected advances to join this new group," said Mr Key.

"New Zealand needs to address the serious issues hampering growth including corporate tax rates, the Resource Management Act and employment legislation if it is to continue to improve its productivity rates and have any chance of moving back into the top half of the OECD.

"New Zealand doesn't need yet another business group being used as a political smoke screen. The Government needs to prove that is truly interested in the issues, not just some political sideshow dedicated to spin not substance," said Mr Key.


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