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Labour anti-business - Prebble

Today's statements on the telecommunications market and competition law show how anti-business Labour is, according to ACT Leader Richard Prebble.

Pricing problems in the telecommunications industry have come about in part because of Labour's lack of action on treaty issues, Mr Prebble said today. "Higher mobile charges have been caused by the Waitangi Tribunal holding up the electromagnetic spectrum. Labour has been totally silent on the Tribunal's ruling that Maori have a property right over the electromagnetic spectrum - and for Labour to suggest Telecom is responsible is absurd," Mr Prebble said.

"A commission of inquiry into telecommunications will solve nothing. By the time the commission has reported, the evidence given at the start of the inquiry will be out of date. The last Labour government's inquiry into broadcasting made such bizarre findings as that satellites will have no role in broadcasting this century - which will come as a surprise to current Sky subscribers to satellite services. Politicians who call for commissions of inquiry usually do so to cover the fact that they have no rigorously thought out policy.

"Labour's comments regarding Telecom appear to be no better than the Alliance's big business-bashing. The only thing missing from Labour's policy is an attack on the salary of the CEO.

"The overall climate of Labour's policy is anti-business. People in the primary sector should take note of the tone and language used by Dr Cullen when he refers to breaking New Zealand's over-reliance on commodities in favour of more knowledge-intensive enterprise. Dr Cullen should know that the average New Zealand farm uses computers now, and as the debate about genetically modified food shows, some of the most remarkable advances are in the primary sector.

"The reality is that one of the quickest ways to get the economy going is to restore bottom line profitability to the farming sector, which has been damaged by politically correct legislation like the Resource Management, Employment Contracts, Biosecurity, and OSH Acts - all of which have been enthusiastically supported by Labour," Mr Prebble said.

ENDS

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