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Budget statement confirms low-growth status quo

Media release 20 February 2002

Budget statement confirms low-growth status quo

A budget document that 'disappeared' in the pre-Christmas Parliamentary rush should get more scrutiny, says Business NZ.

Business NZ Chief Executive Simon Carlaw says the Government's Budget Policy Statement, currently being scrutinised by the Finance and Expenditure select committee, received little attention when first released in December because of the logjam of legislation in Parliament at the time.

"The Statement is important because it forecasts revenue and debt levels for the coming year as well as Government intentions for future spending," Mr Carlaw said.

Appearing before the select committee today, Business NZ said the Budget Policy Statement pointed to a policy direction that was unlikely to achieve the Government's objective of higher growth.

"It merely confirms the low-growth status quo," Mr Carlaw said.

"Projected increases in operating expenses and revenues, a projected increase in gross Crown debt, more Government involvement in commercial activities and a growing regulatory burden must be addressed with urgency if we are to have a strong, growing economy that can deliver positive social and environmental outcomes."

Business NZ's submission on the Budget Policy Statement is on www.businessnz.org.nz under 'submissions'

Contact: Kathryn Asare 021 555744

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