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Need for growth strategy underlined, welcomed

Need for growth strategy underlined, welcomed

With central and local government spending over 40 per cent of the economy and growing, the opportunities for innovation and knowledge creation are being squeezed out of the economy, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says. Hence we're pleased with the National Party's paper on the need for growth, said EMA's chief executive Alasdair Thompson.

"We welcome the National Party's white paper underlining the importance of economic growth," he said.

"Growth comes from the private sector, not Government. Expecting growth to result from higher Government spending is like thinking we can shop our way to higher sustainable growth.

"Together with Business New Zealand we developed our 20 point strategy for growth two years ago, and the Chambers of Commerce recently released a valuable contribution to the discussion.

"We're in agreement on virtually all the key issues. In particular we agree New Zealand needs a vision for growth to generate higher standards of living. The present 2.5 per cent GDP growth per capita (and falling) will not return New Zealand to the top 10 of the OECD.

"Business needs Government spending to start reducing as a proportion of the whole economy. Calls for more inventiveness and knowledge creation while Government spending keeps on growing, makes no sense.

"For example, social welfare spending in real terms is now six times greater than it was 40 years ago. Government emphasis needs to be far higher on education than on social welfare.

"National's paper tackles key issues like these. It's a thoughtful and creditable contribution."

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