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Govt ministers contradict each other over grants

Govt ministers contradict each other over grants

Government minister Jim Anderton has contradicted fellow minister Trevor Mallard over how much taxpayer money was given to the ailing beef jerky plant, says National Economic Development spokeswoman Katherine Rich.

“They should get their stories straight,” she says.

“Yesterday National highlighted an Industry NZ grant for a feasibility study to help set the plant up. The agency also underwrote the assistance offered by Winz and Skill NZ to the tune of $500,000.

“While the minister claimed National told lies, his real beef lies with his own officials. That information came from the June 2002 Venture magazine – an Industry NZ publication.

He said: ‘The Government’s only grant to Jack Links was $50,000 for a feasibility study – a far cry from the $550,000 she (Katherine Rich) is falsely claiming went to this company. This just confirms that anything National says should not be trusted as being factually correct.’

“Yet today Jim Anderton has confirmed the figure - a $500,000 Winz subsidy to the new plant for training staff.

“My suggestion is that Trevor Mallard use his energy to check the facts with Mr Anderton and his own officials rather than engage in personal attacks.

“As for the publicity stunt today over EDS, Labour doesn’t get that business development is more than holding press conferences and having your photo taken. While smiling for the cameras, Labour continues to ignore the high dollar, rising compliance costs and high taxes.

“Grants to individual companies are not a long term solution. For every one company you support there are hundreds – if not thousands – that get nothing.

“It’s more conducive to doing business in New Zealand to make changes to the environment companies operate in.”

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