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‘Pink Think’ dogmatism bringing Labour down


‘Pink Think’ dogmatism bringing Labour down

Rigid ‘Pink Think’ dogmatism is the core reason why Labour is losing support at present, says United Future leader, Peter Dunne.

Mr Dunne told the Employers and Manufacturers Association Central luncheon on the New Zealand Herald’s Business Leaders’ Survey that people had had enough of the government’s “we know what’s best for you” approach.

“That approach is not just limited to social policy and Treaty of Waitangi issues – it now includes economic policy as well.

“While United Future continues to work well with the government on the range of issues we have in common, it is no coincidence that the ‘Pink Think’ approach is the area where we have the greatest differences.

“We have consistently opposed ‘Pink Think’ in economic and business policy, by voting against changes to employment law; ACC levy hikes; interfering occupational safety and health legislation; and early implementation of the Kyoto Protocol obligations – all issues which the Business Survey indicated were of concern to the SME sector.

“The government’s problem is that it keeps letting its ideology get in the way of common sense, which is why it is slipping in the polls,” he said.

Mr Dunne said the government’s proper role was to facilitate business and economic development to smooth the way for greater economic growth.

“Instead, it seems determined to go on telling business how things should be, and to impose its view of the world, regardless of what people think.

“For example, there is no need for the Employment Relations Act Amendment Bill, other than to shore up Labour’s union support, and that is not good enough.

“All it will do is bring back compulsory union membership by stealth at a time when most New Zealanders have moved well on from such archaic notions.

“Labour should drop the Bill altogether,” he said.

Mr Dunne said the case for cutting business taxes was overwhelming, especially given the government’s expressed commitment to establishing a single market with Australia, and that it was only ‘Pink Think’ ideology that was stopping the government moving in that direction.

With regard to the more active promotion of free trade agreements, another issue the Survey showed was of concern to the SME sector, Mr Dunne said there was no reason why New Zealand should not be moving immediately to conclude free trade agreements with China, Taiwan and Thailand.

Mr Dunne said the business community had as strong a stake in the country’s future as any group.

“All they need is the government to get off their back, and leave the ‘Pink Think’ dogma in the university common room where it belongs.

“Dumping the Employment Relations Amendment Bill and lowering the company tax rate would be strong steps the government could take to regain business confidence,” he said.

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