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Budget dislocated from economic growth

Budget dislocated from economic growth - Employers' Federation

The NZ Employers' Federation says today's Budget seems dislocated from the issue of economic growth.

"No doubt the Government has the intention of facilitating economic growth, but it is unlikely that this Budget's numerous widely-spread projects will achieve that objective," Employers' Federation policy manager John Pask said today.

Mr Pask said while funding for research and development will help a number of individual employers, it will not encourage business growth generally.

"Employers basically need a lower tax rate so they can invest in their businesses, hire more people and grow New Zealand's economy. Instead, the increased Budget spending is paid for by increased tax.

"Employers also need a lessening of the current regulatory burden to remain internationally competitive," Mr Pask said.

"Practical support for structured industry training, including Modern Apprenticeships, and for the difficult area of school-to-work transition will be welcomed by employers.

"However, it is clear that the costs of other policies such as reunionising the workplace and renationalising ACC have not been taken into account in this Budget."

Mr Pask said Budget growth projections were not high enough to ensure a reduction in unemployment, given the Treasury's projections show unemployment staying approximately at current levels until 2004.

"There is a concern also about the inconsistency of wanting to increase the capacity of the country's human capital, while at the same time tying people to an outdated social welfare approach like the Budget's state housing provisions."

Ends

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