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Australian Election: Challenge ahead for NZ

Bill English MP
National Party Finance Spokesman

25 November 2007

Australian Election: Challenge ahead for NZ

National Party Finance spokesman Bill English says the Australian election presents New Zealand’s economy with new challenges in the global competition for human capital.

“The new Australian Government is committed to significant across the board tax cuts. Already, around 700 Kiwis are bound for Australia every week. They take with them their skills and enterprise. The recent promises of further tax cuts in Australia do have the potential to accelerate that exodus.

“New Zealand does have to compete. We are a great country with massive potential, but presently we pay among the highest interest rates in the developed world, and we are in the top half of the OECD for over taxation.

“Australia remains ahead of us on most important indicators. As their economy has grown, New Zealand’s has slowed. That makes the challenge ahead of us even harder.

“With strong growing economy, New Zealand can afford world class health and education.

“With a strong growing economy, we can afford the social safety nets that protect and nurture our families, our children, and the vulnerable.”

Mr English says it simply isn’t good enough to have a Finance Minister who believes people who ‘flee as tax exiles to Australia are functionally innumerate and we are better off without them’.

“Personal tax rates are a neon sign which helps attract people and investment. Dr Cullen’s comments show Labour has given up.”

Ends

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