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National Has Listened To Business

15 April 2002

National Has Listened To Business “Which Ultimately Has To Be Good For New Zealand.”

Michael Barnett, chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, gave the National Party’s economic policy unveiled today a high pass mark - 9 out of 10.

For more than two years, the Chamber and other business organisations have been advocating:

- Competitive tax rates, especially with Australia;

- Getting rid of the 39c “success tax”

- Reduction and better control of Government expenditure

- A coherent strategy for growth.

- Specific measures for reducing compliance

National’s policy package shows that the concerns of business have been heard, said Mr Barnett. “The recognition given to SMEs in the package as the future engine for growing a larger economy is an important stake in the ground.”

National’s challenge now is to educate New Zealanders to the consequences of these policies. How many more jobs will be generated? Will an annual growth rate of 4 percent be able to be achieved and sustained? What is National’s target date for getting New Zealand back into the top group of richer nations?

And most importantly, when will the higher productivity be achieved to allow us to become a nation in which we don’t need to worry about whether sufficient tax revenue is being generated to cover the cost of high quality education and health services?

Mr Barnett said that the ultimate test of National’s policies - as with the Labour-Alliance Coalition’s - would be how well they assist to generate the higher productivity needed to pay top rates to our teachers, nurses and other professionals.

“Instead of New Zealand continuing to be a source of highly skilled but low paid professionals for other rich nations to recruit, the electorate must become convinced that a change of policy tack along the lines proposed by National will turn New Zealand into an attractive place for top professionals to live, work and help to build a bigger, better performing economy and society,” said Mr Barnett.

"It's the voters choice - and National has clearly laid down the option."


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