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Labour’s productivity hypocrisy

New Zealand National Party

Media Release

1 September 2017

Labour’s productivity hypocrisy

The Labour Party is being completely disingenuous in its claims about New Zealand’s productivity and ways to lift it, National Party Campaign Chair Steven Joyce says.

“Labour is again showing it is no friend of Kiwi businesses by talking down the hard work of companies to lift productivity and grow our economy,” Mr Joyce says.

“Labour is cherry-picking the statistics to suit its negative views,” Mr Joyce says.

“On one of the key measures of productivity, GDP per hours worked, New Zealand’s productivity has lifted nearly 10 per cent since National came into office. That’s a faster rate than the UK, Canada, the US, the EU, the G7 and the average across the whole OECD.

“This increase has helped lift the average annual wage by $13,000 over that period, more than twice the rate of inflation."

“The last time Labour was in office, it was the reverse. Our productivity growth was 5.5 per cent over eight years and much slower than all those other economies.

“Businesses lift productivity by having the confidence to invest in new equipment, new markets, and new people.

“Governments can help confidence by running the economy well and making available new markets, key infrastructure and access to skills. That is what National is doing.

“What you don’t do is knock businesses’ confidence with an agenda of:
· Vague new taxes on productive businesses like a capital gains tax and water taxes
· Arbitrary restrictions on access to skilled workers so they can’t grow
· Going backwards on trade deals like the TPP
· Unnecessary central wage bargaining proposals that send New Zealand back to the 70s

“New Zealand is a nation of small and medium-sized businesses. It's challenging enough taking on the world and winning from a New Zealand base, without putting artificial barriers in their way.

“National is working with New Zealand businesses and not against them. And that’s how you lift productivity.”


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