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Confidence - ERB and exchange rates to blame

Government has to fix Employment Relations Bill to restore business confidence

Business confidence takes further plunge - ERB and exchange rates to blame

"Business confidence won't be restored until business is confident that the Government will make significant changes to its Employment Relations Bill", says Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) chief executive Alasdair Thompson.

"The results of our latest monthly survey of business conditions show that the Bill is clearly the major factor behind a further dramatic decline in overall business confidence. 25% of survey respondents now cite industrial relations as a concern, up from 19% in the previous month and only 9% in January. Exchange rates, at 26%, and interest rates, at 15%, remain business' two other major sources of concern."

"Overall business confidence has worsened dramatically. A staggering 37% of businesses now see their turnover worsening, up from 16% in April, and 0% in January. Only 15% now see an improvement, compared with 28% the previous month and 48% in January."

"Only 11% of respondents now see their profitability improving, down from 28% in the previous month and 48% in January. On the flip side, 37% now see their profitability worsening, up from 24% in April and only 7% in January."

"Domestic turnover has dropped a further 2% in May, following on from a 13% drop in April. On the bright side, strong growth is still showing up in export earnings, which are up 27% on the previous month. This is being spurred on by the low dollar." Mr Thompson says.

However, "There is growing concern that the Government's much-heralded changes to the Employment Relations Bill, will be little more than cosmetic windrow-dressing", according to the association's employment relations manager, Peter Tritt. He says "The Government's refusal, to date, to say there will be further consultation over its proposed changes shows a serious lack of good faith on the Government's part."

"The fact that the Government's not prepared to show us the nature of its proposed changes and consult on them suggests that it's going to ram this legislation through, without regard to its impact on business and the New Zealand economy."

For further information contact:

Alasdair Thompson
Chief Executive

Peter Tritt
Manager, Employment Relations
DDI (09) 367 0921
Mob (025) 796 807
Home: (09) 379 8977

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