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Higher salaries best way to reverse brain drain

Higher salaries best way to reverse brain drain

National Party Leader Don Brash says higher salaries and a better standard of living are easily the best ways to reverse the brain drain affecting New Zealand, and taxes are a big part of that.

“If our best and brightest were rewarded with significantly higher salary packets under National’s high-growth economy, fewer of them would be looking to permanently leave this country for greener pastures.”

Dr Brash is commenting in the wake of statistics this week which show one in five New Zealand-born graduates head overseas as soon as they get their degree and a survey that shows pay rises in New Zealand are lagging well behind Australia.

According to a survey by Mercer Human Resources Consulting, Kiwi white-collar workers can expect one of the smallest pay rises in the world over the next year, despite New Zealand's buoyant economy.

“Sure, many of our young people come back having done their O.E, with valuable skills and experience, but not enough are coming back for good.

“If you look back over the past 12 years, about 60 per cent of those who took out student loans and left New Zealand have yet to return.

“The only way we’ll get them back is if wage rates grow significantly and we increase our national productivity.

“We can’t do that when the Government continues to impose barriers to business, such as employment laws that put too much power in the hands of unions and limit choice for individuals.

“Labour’s big government ideology is undoubtedly harming our wage growth potential.

“At the same time the Government continues to amass large surpluses while rejecting the demands from all workers for tax relief.

“National supports a fairer tax system that rewards hard work, enterprise and innovation, rather than punishes people for it.

“If we want our bright young graduates to come back, we have to give them a good reason to return. Higher wages and salaries for everyone would be a great start,” says Dr Brash.

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