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Goal Of Being Back In The Top Half

“Goal Of Being Back In The Top Half Of The Developed World In Terms Of Per Capita GDP”

Yes, the goal is right - to get New Zealand back into the top league of rich countries:

- It’s consistent with Government’s “hands on” philosophy;

- It’s not anti-business¡K..

- It will contribute towards moving New Zealand forward.

“But does the Budget do enough to launch us on the ambitious journey we have to take to get us to where we want to go?” said Michael Barnett, Chief Executive of the Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Praising Finance Minister Dr Cullen’s courage to put up a bold target, Mr Barnett said it’s a big ask of New Zealanders to double productivity to levels we have not seen sustained since the 1950s. There is detail missing:

- When does Dr Cullen expect the goal to be achieved by? Is this a ten year plan -he doesn’t say.

- What are the specific programmes that will be needed to shift gears to get New Zealand into the fast lane?

- What will the consequences be for New Zealanders who will have to change attitudes enormously if this goal is going to be achieved?

While agreeing with the goal set by Dr Cullen, Mr Barnett asked whether the best use had been made of the $600 million surplus available for spending to help achieve the goal.

The $100 million for a NZ venture investment fund and the strategy to commercialise R & D is an exciting prospect, said Mr Barnett. “These are good tools to enable business people with good ideas to transform them into vibrant, viable successful businesses.”

“If we are going to move quickly to achieve the main goal, we are going to need a stronger commitment to re-distributing the wealth from the social spend areas to those that get NZ surging forward.”

“This is a Budget of many small steps spread thinly, but will it provide NZ with a point of difference that will attract attention to NZ in the global marketplace?” said Mr Barnett.


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