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Backyard Brilliance Into Jobs And Incomes

Investment in the knowledge economy, through the Bright Future Package, is one of the ways the Government will build a stronger economy, Treasurer Bill English says.

"Becoming part of the knowledge economy is about turning backyard brilliance into jobs and incomes, and making our existing economic activity more profitable.

"Today's package is another step in that direction. The Government will put its weight behind the wheel, because to really move forward education and business need our support.

"This kind of package won't work in isolation. Which is why it must be part of an economic approach by Government that encourages innovation and enterprise and ensures our economy is as competitive as possible. That means building on what we've already achieved, while at the same time taking advantage of new ideas and new ways of doing business," Mr English said.

"In addition to this package there are five other areas where this Government is taking action to build a stronger economy.

"We must maintain the sound economic framework that has served New Zealand well over the last decade - a flexible labour market, low inflation, prudent fiscal policy, low broad-based taxes and debt repayment. We can't take these for granted.

"Next, we must pursue lower taxes, which are crucial to a culture of innovation and enterprise. High taxes won't encourage our young people to stay, or attract the investment we need to generate more jobs.

"Thirdly, we must keep driving to make our economy more competitive.

"This year we have moved on producer boards and ACC. Ahead of us are the big infrastructure issues - roading management, and local government.

"We must consider how government activity, which accounts for 35% of the economy, is contributing to productivity growth and the knowledge economy. Public investment must focus on the cutting edge of the economy.

"Finally, we must make sure that what the Government spends can actually make a difference. We must break the cycles of disadvantage for the most at-risk in society, and offer more choice and flexibility to everyone who uses public services.

"The Bright Future Package, combined with the other parts of the Government's economic policy, is the way to build a bright future for New Zealand," said Mr English.

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