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Labour must tackle real economic issues

Bill English MP
National Party Finance Spokesman

18 April 2008

Labour must tackle real economic issues

National Party Finance spokesman Bill English says Labour’s single focus on retaining ‘power’ is coming at the cost of the economy.

“There are some things which are within the Government’s control. But when the going gets tough, Michael Cullen blames the international environment and refuses to tackle the real economic issues on which government can make a difference."

Mr English says yesterday’s bombshell job losses are a worrying sign that Labour’s “cruise control management of the economy” for the past eight years no longer fits the global realities.

“It’s hard to see how the extra $600 million for bureaucrats announced this week will help families struggling to pay their bills, educate more of our children, or provide more security in our communities.

“It’s hard to see how singing silly songs will stop the flood of skilled New Zealanders to Australia, or help pull our health system out of its almost constant state of crisis.

“The first thing that Fisher and Paykel mentioned yesterday in announcing its Mosgiel job losses was the high exchange rate, driven by higher interest rates.

“Michael Cullen knew what wasteful government spending would do to those already soaring interest rates when Labour went on a spending binge of record proportions last year. He also told his colleagues that their spending would prolong any downturn.

“Labour has effectively abandoned the Reserve Bank and left the Governor to fight inflation on his own. Michael Cullen refuses to take any responsibility for Labour’s contribution to the business environment, even when their spending is such a large and increasing part of our economy.

“Rather than any knee-jerk reform of monetary policy, what’s required is a government focused on injecting more momentum into areas of our economy that will promote economic growth and improvements in productivity - such as infrastructure, cutting red tape, education and training, and increasing after tax incomes.”


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