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Report Blows Labour Claims Out Of The Water

Report Blows Labour Claims Out Of The Water

Labour's claim that the New Zealand economy is improving its competitiveness is blown out of the water by the recently released World Economic Forum global competitiveness report, ACT New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade Spokesman Ken Shirley said today.

"New Zealand has slipped to 18th place in the overall growth competitiveness ranking, down from 14th last year and third place eight years ago," Mr Shirley said.

"While we may still be ahead of Chad, Angola and Bangladesh, New Zealanders should be alarmed with the trend - particularly when compared to our trading partners and competitors in other countries of the OECD.

"In particular, New Zealand is noted to have a competitive disadvantage from high levels of Government regulation and compliance costs, and rigid laws on hiring and firing.

"While we may have thought the RMA was our greatest problem, restrictive labour regulations promulgated by the Labour Government have scored highest in the most problematic factors for doing business in this country.

"The Helen Clark-led Labour Government has enjoyed buoyant times, and has been picking the low fruit earned by the bold restructuring policies implemented by previous governments. Those hard earned yards will soon be wasted if New Zealand continues to slide in the international competitiveness stakes," Mr Shirley said.

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