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Grants review shows 'Jobs Machine' a hoax

Katherine Rich MP
National Party Economic Development Spokeswoman
3 February 2006

Grants review shows 'Jobs Machine' a hoax

Restructuring the labyrinth of economic development grants is more evidence the Government accepts the Jobs Machine’s a hoax, says National Party Economic Development spokeswoman Katherine Rich.

Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard has said he intends shaking up economic development schemes and dump those that aren’t working.

Mrs Rich says the fact that NZ Trade and Enterprise was only established in 2003 and is already facing significant grant restructuring shows the Government has failed to determine clear objectives and measurements for the programmes.

“In the rush to grab self-serving photo-opportunities, Labour’s confused publicity with sound economic policy.

“The track record of Labour’s grant schemes has been poor and the announcement of restructuring by the Minister just confirms it.

“Ever since the damning Auditor General’s report into NZTE grant schemes in 2004 and the Economic Development Ministry review last December, it’s been clear the mishmash of schemes has needed major surgery.

“With well over 50 programmes, it’s no wonder that the Ministry’s review outlined concerns about the perceptions business holds about the programmes. This included perceptions that the grant schemes were cluttered, complicated, unfair and lacking a clear focus.

“The previous minister, Jim Anderton, and the rest of Labour have travelled the country heralding the Government’s investment in Jack Links, Sovereign Yachts and EDS.

“With apologies to Meatloaf, two out of three ain’t bad, it’s dismal.”

The review used careful diplomatic language, but in effect slammed the grant programmes for having “rather cumbersome structure”. There was also “insufficient clarity about complementary roles”, and “low” programme reach.

ENDS

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