Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


More Fundamental Attack On Business Costs Needed

More Fundamental Attack On Business Costs Needed

"It is pleasing that the government is making a further attempt to reduce business costs but its approach needs to be much wider", the executive director of the New Zealand Business Roundtable, Roger Kerr, said today.

Mr Kerr said that in its last term the government's compliance cost review produced meagre results while policy changes in areas such as taxation, employment law, utilities regulation, planning regulation and competition and securities law had greatly increased business costs. Planned changes to workplace health and safety and redundancy law would make the problems worse.

"It is not credible for one part of the government to talk about compliance cost reductions while other parts are heaping additional costs on business", Mr Kerr said.

"Moreover, compliance costs are only the tip of the iceberg.

"For example, the increase in the top tax rate added to compliance costs, by making the tax system, including fringe benefit tax, more complex. However, greater economic costs arise from the disincentives to work effort, investment and risk taking that it created. The overall problems can only be reduced by moves to a lower, flatter tax scale as recommended by the government's Tax Review.

"Similarly, tariff administration involves costs for both the private sector and the government, but the main economic costs of tariffs arise from the misallocation of economic resources. The solution is to end the tariff freeze and phase out tariffs, which would also facilitate the government's plans to negotiate free trade agreements with Hong Kong and other countries."

Mr Kerr said that a more fundamental approach to regulatory costs was needed, along the lines of the report Constraining Government Regulation (available at which the Business Roundtable in association with Federated Farmers and the Auckland and Wellington chambers of commerce had recently published.

"We look forward to taking up the ideas in this report, including the possibility of a Regulatory Responsibility Act, with the new minister of commerce", Mr Kerr concluded.

22 August 2002

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Paymark: Lockdown Equals Slowdown For Some

The three days of lockdown for Auckland earlier this month made a clear impression on our retail spending figures. While only Auckland moved into Level 3 lockdown, the impact was felt across the country, albeit at different levels. Looking at the ... More>>

Infrastructure Commission: Te Waihanga Releases Report On Water Infrastructure

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga’s latest discussion document highlights the importance of current reforms in the water sector. Its State of Play discussion document about water infrastructure is one of a series looking at the ... More>>

Sci-Tech: Perseverance Rover Lands On Mars – Expert Reaction

NASA has landed a car-sized rover on the red planet to search for signs of past life. The vehicle has more instruments than the four rovers preceding it, and it’s also carrying gear that could help pave the way for human exploration of Mars. The ... More>>


ASB: Quarterly Economic Forecast Predicts OCR Hike As Early As August 2022

Predictions of interest rate rises have been brought forward 12 months in ASB’s latest Quarterly Economic Forecast. Chief Economist Nick Tuffley now expects the RBNZ to begin raising the OCR from its current level of 0.25% as early as August ... More>>

ACT: Matariki Almost A Half Billion Dollar Tax On Business

“Official advice to the Government says an extra public holiday at Matariki could cost almost $450 million,” ACT Leader David Seymour can reveal. “This is a perfect example of the Prime Minister doing what’s popular versus what’s responsible. ... More>>

Genesis: Assessing 6,000 GWh Of Renewable Generation Options For Development By 2025

Genesis is assessing 6,000 GWh of renewable generation options for development after starting a closed RFP process with 11 partners. Those invited to participate offer a range of technologies as Genesis continues to execute its Future-gen strategy to ... More>>

OECD: Unemployment Rate Stable At 6.9% In December 2020, 1.7 Percentage Points Higher Than In February 2020

The OECD area unemployment rate was stable at 6.9% in December 2020, remaining 1.7 percentage points above the level observed in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the labour market. [1] In December, the unemployment rate was also stable ... More>>

Stats NZ: Unemployment Drops To 4.9 Percent As Employment Picks Up

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent in the December 2020 quarter, from 5.3 percent in the September 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Last quarter’s unemployment rate of 5.3 percent followed the largest increase observed ... More>>