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National's knowledge economy failure exposed

Labour
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"National's late run to jump on the knowledge economy bandwagon stands revealed for the shallow politics it is in an independent report released yesterday," says Labour commerce spokesperson Paul Swain.

"The report, prepared by the IT Advisory Group, was released without fanfare last night. The contrast between the report's release and the glitzy multi-centre launch of the Government's "Bright Future" programme could not be sharper.

"This time, they were not anxious for publicity. This is not surprising as the report does not make pretty reading for National.

"It finds that most of the progress New Zealand has made toward a knowledge economy is due to the private sector and identifies the lack of a strategic vision from the Government as a key reason for New Zealand's sluggish performance.

"It also shows that New Zealand has the worst tax treatment for R&D in the OECD. Yet all National could offer in its "Bright Future" package was to have a "good hard look" at the taxation issue.

"Clearly National is still wedded to its arid hands-off approach to economic management and is only pretending to believe the Government should take a leadership role in the economy.

"The Damascus conversion on the road to Ireland and Finland was entirely cynical. Only a Labour Government with a sincere commitment to the knowledge economy can deliver New Zealanders the bright future they deserve," Mr Swain said.

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