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Economy suffers as Labour fails to act

Economy suffers as Labour fails to act

The already large gap between our incomes and those in Australia will just keep getting wider under present policies, says National Leader Don Brash.

He told the Orewa Rotary Club in his annual address tonight that despite Labour’s claim to be great economic managers, the 20 per cent gap in average after tax incomes in Australia’s favour in 1999 has now widened to 33 per cent.

“If that gap continues to widen, as it certainly will with present policies, the future is bleak and we will continue to lose over 600 New Zealanders across the Tasman every week.

“The risk is that we reach a tipping point from which it’s increasingly difficult to recover.

“The income gap means that people can get better healthcare in other developed countries, better education for their children in other developed countries, and better housing in other developed countries.”

Dr Brash says the chickens have come home to roost with the slowing economy.

“Labour’s legacy is a faltering economy.

“We have the unedifying spectacle of a Prime Minister who is supposed to be leading the country, instead frozen like an opossum in the headlights of an oncoming Aussie truck.

“She just does not seem to understand how close we are to disaster.

“The collapse in business confidence is like the warning light on your petrol tank – ignore it at your peril. Well, it is flashing, and the Government is asleep at the wheel.

“The National Party is optimistic about New Zealand’s future, and I personally am optimistic about our future.

“But nobody can be optimistic about our future if all we can look forward to are the policies of the Labour Government.”

Dr Brash says other issues National will be devoting particular attention to this year are:

Immigration and its importance not only to the economy but to society as well.

Health, where there has been wasteful and inefficient spending.

The tension between our desperate need for better infrastructure and sustained economic growth, and the need to preserve the environment.

Dr Brash says National will hold the Labour-New Zealand First Government to account and expose arrogance, incompetence and corruption where it exists.

``But we also commit to supporting the Government where it is willing to adopt sensible policies in line with our own values and principles.

“Following the election last September, National now has the strongest Opposition caucus in terms of number, ability and experience in New Zealand history. We have the people needed to develop and implement our policies.

“We also have a clear vision of where we want to go, what kind of country we want New Zealand to be, and – most importantly – what sort of policies will get us there.”

Ends

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