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National's Kiwibank stance = unfair uncertainty


11 February 2005

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

National's Kiwibank stance = unfair uncertainty for business

The National Party is doing untold damage to small businesses' confidence with its stance on Kiwibank, says Progressive MP Matt Robson.

"In some of today's newspapers, small business people will be alarmed to read the latest dithering comments on Kiwibank by National's finance spokesman.

"It is a scandal that, on the eve of small businesses starting to reap thousands of dollars a year in savings via lower Kiwibank business banking fees, National is trying to scare them off from switching to Kiwibank," Matt Robson said.

"Small business people need and deserve policy certainty, especially on fundamental issues like the cost of banking services and raising capital.

"They need to know whether switching to Kiwibank is worthwhile, knowing it is so long as it remains a New Zealand-owned bank.

"Why doesn't the National Party understand that? This is a scandal and National's anti-small business position is an outrage," the Progressive MP said.

It was reported today that National "hasn't yet decided" whether or not a National-led government would "in the short-term" sell Kiwibank to one of the big foreign-owned banks.

"National must define how short, short-term is. National must tell small businesses immediately when a decision will be made. National owes it not just to every small business person, but the over quarter of a million other Kiwis around the country who are currently enjoying Kiwibank's competitive retail banking services," Matt Robson said.

Kiwibank is the brainchild of Progressive Party leader Jim Anderton. The nationwide retail bank will start offering competitive services to small businesses in main centres next month. Small businesses could save thousands of dollars a year in bank fees by switching to New Zealand-owned Kiwibank.

ENDS

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