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Recession underlines need for economic plan

John Key MP
National Party Leader

26 September 2008

Recession underlines need for economic plan

“Today it’s official, Labour has led New Zealand into recession and most worryingly Helen Clark is still failing to articulate any plan to get our country’s economy growing again,” says National Party Leader John Key.

He is commenting after the release of the June quarter GDP figures, which confirm the economy is shrinking. There’s also a developing view that there will now be a third quarter of negative growth.

“For many people it is becoming very tough. Labour’s tax cuts are years too late and there needs to be more to the economic plan.

“Regardless of who makes up the next government, the fiscal context will be quite different over the next five years than it has been over the past five. National recognises this.

“Michael Cullen has spent the windfalls from yesterday, but there is no plan for tomorrow. He has been a fair weather Finance Minister. And when things were good, Helen Clark was happy to take the credit. Now there’s an economic headwind, they look for others to shoulder the blame and remain silent on any plan for growth.

“At times like these, people look to the government for a sense of direction. People can get through a recession if they see the path ahead to better incomes.

“The reality is that fiscal initiatives at this point must be targeted at strengthening the economy for the future. Only a strong economy can provide continued improvements in public services and security for older people, the sick, and the vulnerable.

“National will implement an economic package that will set the course for a return to growth and strengthen our economy.”

• We will put the right incentives in place to encourage people to work and save and get ahead under their own steam.

• We will bring discipline to government spending and devote more resources to frontline services like doctors, nurses, teachers, and police.

• We will stop the massive rise in bureaucracy and red tape. We will cap the number of bureaucrats in the core public service, and we will reform the Resource Management Act and the Building Act.

• We will have an unwavering focus on lifting education standards. We will improve literacy and numeracy, boost trades in schools, and encourage teenagers to get the skills they need.

• And we will invest in the infrastructure we so desperately need to help get this country growing again.

“Now is not the time to shut up shop and blame the world economy. Now is the time to think smart, act rationally, and start building a dynamic economy that is resilient in the face of future uncertainty. National will do just that.”

ENDS

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