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Labour Muddled on Competition

Labour's policy on competition announced today is confusing to everyone, including especially our manufacturers and traders who need consistent policies, says National MP Warren Kyd, Chairman of Parliament's Commerce Select Committee. They will be surprised at statements Labour has made on competition law, wanting a more aggressive culture at the Commerce Commission. To business, it will smack of heavy handed intervention by a Labour/Alliance coalition with little business experience.

Copying Australia is not the answer - it has a different economy with different problems.

Their announcement on competition law flies in the face of their refusal to support government legislation to price control electricity line companies, said Mr Kyd. On the one hand, Labour will tolerate exorbitant monopoly profits being made by line companies, whilst on the other hand, it wants the Commerce Commission to be far more interventionist. New Zealand is a country with very few (if any) substantial businesses in world terms, but it has many small and medium businesses. A competition law which is too restrictive could stop New Zealand developing strong companies which are needed for a successful economy. All New Zealand consumers, whether domestic or business will find it hard to understand why Labour is so easy on line companies creaming it off, but want to be so interventionist elsewhere.

Mr Kyd said that policies indicate a Labour Party which is devoid of business people and an understanding of the issues. Stopping businesses from making their own arrangements generally is not a good thing. Their new policy indicates Jim Anderton's input to the Labour Alliance Bloc.


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