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Bendon closure: 400 jobs deliberately destroyed

Bendon closure: 400 jobs deliberately destroyed by National

Wed Oct 20 1999

The loss of 400 jobs at Bendon is a result of a deliberate National party decision to slash tariffs while knowing that wide-spread job losses would result, Alliance leader Jim Anderton said.99 jobs will be lost in Te Aroha and 13 at East Tamaki from the end of November. Bendon is attempting to sell its Te Rapa factory and a further 278 will go early next year if it can't.'The government will try to say this is an unfortunate sign of the times which it can't do anything about. It isn't true. 'These were good jobs in a thriving company. They have been destroyed by a deliberate government policy to remove tariffs. 'The government knows that job losses result from tariff removals. It hopes that by some kind of voodoo, new jobs will be created in towns like Te Rapa and Te Aroha to replace the lost Bendon jobs. They're dreaming. 'When it comes to tariff-protected industries, the issue for New Zealanders is, 'would you rather pay $1.50 more for a bra, or $150 a week to someone on the unemployment benefit?''Tariff removal not only costs jobs, it increases our overseas debt. Once Bendon stops selling New Zealand-made products, we'll be importing them. The government should state what extra exports we will sell to pay for the imports as a result of the decision to close Bendon's factories and import instead. We spend $21 million a day more than we earn right now paying for imports we can't afford.'Jim Anderton said no party except the Alliance had a policy that would do anything to keep the Bendon factory open.'Every party in parliament except the Alliance supports the closure of the Bendon factory and the destruction of all those jobs, because all of the others support tariff removals.'The Alliance will introduce a 5% increase in tariffs on imports from all countries except Australia. A 5% increase across-the-board will reduce the balance of payments deficit and save New Zealand jobs.'

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