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Greens/Alliance Not Working For Low Income Earners

Friday 10th Sep 1999

The Green Party and the Alliance Party protests about Free Trade are pointless and if implemented, would hurt working class New Zealanders most, according to ACT Party President Sir Roger Douglas

"The fact is that international trade promotes competition in domestic markets and allows consumers to purchase a wide variety of goods at much lower prices. The Warehouse has been an excellent example of this," he said.

"Do we really need to relearn the relationship between trade restrictions and economic growth of the 1980's:

"During the 1980s, eight relatively low-restriction countries who reduced their tariff rates grew by an average 5% (Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Ireland, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand), while ten high trade restriction countries, on average, had no growth at all (Iran, Brazil, India, Peru, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Argentina, Sierra Leone, Pakistan, Ghana).

"The argument that, licensing can create jobs is, of course, a nonsense. While import restrictions can expand jobs in protected industries, this does not mean jobs are expanded overall. Export industry jobs will be lost.

"Why do the Greens and Alliance advocate restraint on trade? - The answer is straightforward - political power for the vested interest groups they serve.

"These Parties ignore sound economics, giving in to a political strategy that puts low income people last," said Roger Douglas.

ENDS

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