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Milton job losses shows idiocy of tariff removals

The loss of 54 jobs at a textiles plant in Milton is directly
related to the removal of tariffs, Alliance leader Jim Anderton
said.

He's describing the Government's tariff-removal programme
as 'sheer idiocy,' and challenging the Government to point
out to APEC leaders the closure of the textile company as part
of the full story of tariff removals.

The jobs losses at the
Alliance textiles plant (not related to the Alliance party)
were announced yesterday.

Jim Anderton says the rapid removal
of jobs in the heartland is laying waste to jobs by the tens
of thousands.

'A business of this size is fundamental to the
future of a town like Milton.

'Not only does the Shipley-Government
destroy businesses and jobs by removing tariffs, it then stands
limply on the sidelines without any idea of how to stimulate
new economic development in Milton to replace the jobs.

'Not
only is tariff removal destroying tens of thousands of jobs,
but it is driving New Zealand into record debt. The country
will spend 7000 million dollars more overseas this year than
it earns, and our total overseas debt has topped a hundred
million dollars.

'When APEC leaders sit down over cocktails
this weekend to discuss free trade, our government has a responsibili
ty to tell the truth about what has really happened to our
country through tariff removal. It should be our role to bear
witness to the costs as well as the benefits of deregulation.

'When
President Clinton arrives in the South Island, he shouldn't
just be shown beautiful golf courses. He should also be shown
the town of Milton and the consequences for working people
and towns of tariff removal.'

The Alliance proposes a five
per cent increase in tariffs from countries other than Australia
as a balance of payments stabilisation measure. Jim Anderton
says the policy would also create 26,000 more jobs.

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