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Next Government Needs to Engage With Business

19 September 2005

Next Government Needs to Engage With Business

"There are messages in the election result for Labour and one of them is that they need to get alongside and understand business", said Alasdair Thompson, Chief Executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern).

"Helen Clark mentioned on election night her concern about the lack of support her party's policies got from business.

"If Labour does lead the next government, the first two things it ought to do to build business confidence is to back away from their proposed third wave of prescriptive labour laws and, secondly, reduce the withholding company tax rate. These two things would cost next to nothing yet do more to restore business confidence than anything else.

"Constructive dialogue between business and government on things such as overcoming the skills shortage, the infrastructure deficit, especially the competitive secure supply of electricity, and productivity are priorities.

"The initial reaction of business to the ultimate election outcome will depend upon whether the Greens are in a coalition with Labour or in a significant position to influence government.

"In that event, we can expect a fall in business confidence and lower business investment than any of us would like.

"In the event that a National led government emerges with the support of centre right and centre parties, business confidence will be boosted, but tempered by concerns to be reassured stable government will follow. In fact, that applies to whoever leads the next government", concluded Mr Thompson.

ENDS

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