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Groundswell for growth agenda grows

Groundswell for growth agenda grows

The launch of the Chambers of Commerce paper "Achieving Faster Growth" today makes the business verdict unanimous: New Zealand needs a strategy to sustain growth rates of 4 per cent GDP annually.

The Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says sustainable growth at that level or better is needed to raise New Zealanders standard of living, including better health and education.

"The present recipe won't get us there," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"EMA and Business New Zealand called for Government's focus to switch to growth two years ago with the release of our 20 point growth plan; the Chambers work joins the call with its thoughtful analysis.

"It's time Government joined the discussion.

"The EMA and Business New Zealand growth strategy benchmarked the necessary policy fundamentals that would generate investment-led growth. They included:

* Reducing the company tax rate as Australia, Canada and Ireland have.

* Getting Government spending down to below 30 per cent of GDP

* Lowering Government debt to 15 per cent of GDP

* Cutting business compliance costs

* Improving local government's efficiency and effectiveness

* Increasing investment on infrastructure, especially roads.

"A review of the scorecard against the policy direction from two years ago shows we are still far from being able to sustain 4 per cent growth.

"Though we welcome the broadband initiative and some policies on education, Government has otherwise has put most of its resources into developing more regulations which increase business compliance costs, and creating an expensive bureaucracy to pick winners. It has not tackled the fundamentals."

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