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Government’s economic agenda in disarray

22 February 2013

Government’s economic agenda in disarray

The Government’s economic agenda is in tatters today with the announcement of hundreds of jobs being lost at Telecom and GEON, and likely job losses and economic vulnerabilities at Solid Energy, the Green Party said today.

Today’s job losses add to the more than 40,000 jobs lost in manufacturing since National took office in 2008 and recent job cuts at Contact Energy and the closure of Summit Wool Spinners in Oamaru.

“The trickle of job losses is now a flow and the Government has no answers for the growing number of New Zealanders losing their jobs,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“National is mismanaging the economy. They have not created the right conditions to protect and grow jobs.

“Most Governments around the world are pitching in, using all available economic tools and policies to protect local jobs and firms. Our Government is doing next to nothing.

“Just last week the Australian Government announced new procurement rules to support local manufacturers. Our Government is handing out procurement contracts to foreign owned companies.

“The Government is ignoring the sectors of the economy that have jobs-rich potential, such as green technology and manufacturing, and is putting all its energy into sectors that are collapsing, like mining.

“The National Government’s jobs strategy is taking us in the wrong direction. Their priority of more mining sits counter to the collapse of our largest mining company Solid Energy.

“The collapse of Solid Energy also highlights that the asset sales programme, the Government’s key economic priority, is in tatters.

“The Government has relied on asset sales as a silver bullet for the economy. It is now unclear if the sales will be able to proceed at all given the Government’s mismanagement of the companies.

“No sensible investor will want to touch collapsing energy companies. The monitoring of the companies by the shareholding Ministers and crown agencies like CCMU have to be called into question.”

ENDS

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