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High interest rates now costing jobs

Bill English MP
National Party Finance Spokesman

17 April 2008

High interest rates now costing jobs

National Party Finance spokesman Bill English says the shock announcement that up to 430 of Fisher and Paykel’s Dunedin-based jobs will disappear are an indictment on Labour’s economic policies.

“I am deeply saddened that an iconic Kiwi brand has been forced into this decision. My thoughts, and the thoughts of my colleagues are with those workers.

“New Zealand workers are now starting to see the sharp end of Labour’s cynical decision to sacrifice interest rates in favour of a record spending binge in Budget 2007.”

Fisher and Paykel says its hand has been forced by a number of factors, including high interest rates fuelling a high exchange rate, and heavy compliance costs.

“Some responsibility for those high interest rates lies at the feet of Michael Cullen. Not only are New Zealanders feeling it in their mortgages, their rents, and their overdrafts, but now they are paying for it with their livelihoods.

“Before the 2007 Budget, Michael Cullen made a calculated decision to sacrifice interest rates so Labour could go on a record spending binge with taxpayer money.

“Dr Cullen warned his colleagues that their spending would keep interest rates higher for longer, but he still signed off on a massive overspend nonetheless.”

Mr English says all the signs are there that Labour is planning another massive spend up with taxpayer money in a bid to get re-elected.

“With inflation already running hot, wasteful government spending will put more even more pressure on the Reserve Bank to stay the course with the second highest interest rates in the developed world.

“National accepts there are international factors which are beyond the control of the New Zealand Government. But the far more worrying thing is that the issues which are within Labour’s grasp are being deliberately ignored.

“When these important decisions affecting people’s jobs were being made, Helen Clark was too busy auditioning ministers for her silly song contest.”


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