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Focus On Growth, Ambition Applauded

Monday, April 15th, 2002

National's focus on achieving faster growth and cutting company taxes to help do it will be appreciated by business, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"Business applauds the new National focus on achieving faster rates of economic growth for New Zealand," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"Without a better growth rate we can forget about more health, education and environment funding.

"Better growth is the key to funding our ageing population and the delivery of first world health and educations outcomes.

"The new policy signals that National is raising its sights above its traditional rural support base to start building a vigourous, economy wide, enterprise oriented society.

"The Government also needs a higher standard of competition, and National's focus on achieving growth will help achieve this.

"The move to cutting company tax rates to 25 per cent in the mid term is a step in the right direction, though conservative. Attracting and building investment is the number one priority, and cutting company tax rates is critical to achieving this.

"In tandem with this is the welcome proposal to establish a world class investment promotion agency.

"We heartily applaud the policy assault on compliance costs, especially the moves to exempt small businesses from many regulatory obligations as is done in Australia. With the bureaucracy's fixation on creating red tape its difficult to see how any Government can get quickly onside with business except by making exemptions like this available.

"Though a high priority is being given to boosting skill levels, still more needs to be done to bolster training including workplace training."

Ends

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