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Vote Labour for economic pragmatism

Labour
2000 web site"Only Labour can provide the pragmatic and sensible approach to economic policy that the economy and business need," Labour finance spokesperson Michael Cullen said today.

Dr Cullen was commenting on a letter sent this month by the Director of the Manufacturers Division of the Northern EMA, Bruce Goldsworthy, to the President of the National Party, John Slater, expressing the manufacturing sector's concerns at the "philosophies" of Max Bradford, John Luxton and Maurice Williamson.

The letter, dated 12 November, says: "It is clear that the signals being picked up from this group on behalf of the Government are being interpreted as strongly "anti-business" and are thus presenting a very negative view for the future within the manufacturing sector. This in turn fuels uncertainty, which immediately detracts from investment decisions whether they be in people or plant.

"There is no doubt in my mind that business is seeking a somewhat more pragmatic approach from the Government than the pure ideology that has dominated economic planning and policy and dogged our performance over the past decade. This ideology, while laudable in theory, does not take into account the commercial realities of globalisation, or our geographically remote, minute domestic market."

"The concerns Mr Goldsworthy expresses are right. National's "hands-off" management and blind insistence that the best way to nurture business is to ignore it have condemned New Zealand to pedestrian growth and cost the country dear in terms of missed opportunities.

"And that is National by itself. Factor in Act's extremism and hard-right looniness and we will have ideology gone mad.

"The status quo is not an option this election. The choice is practical, pragmatic economic policies under Labour or a leap into the ideological abyss under National-Act," Dr Cullen said.

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