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Taskforce criticises anti-growth policies

Warren Kyd National Business Compliance Spokesman

Bill English National Finance Spokesman

10 July 2001

Taskforce criticises anti-growth policies - and backs National's moves on RMA

The Government must put politics aside and reinstate National's initiatives to improve the Resource Management Act, National's Warren Kyd and Bill English said today.

The Business Compliance Panel, a Ministerial taskforce, has today provided confirmation that many of the Government's policies are bad for business. In particular it highlights compliance problems created by the RMA.

"It is time the Government pulled its head out of the sand and recognised the effects its policies are having on business. This report shows clearly that the Government's skirting around issues like the RMA is reducing our potential for growth," National's spokesmen said.

"The report recommends the Government reconsider National's proposals to introduce contestable processing of resource consent applications, the mandatory use of independent commissioners to hear consents, and directly referring some consent applications to the Environment Court.

"The Government convened the Business Compliance Panel six months ago after deciding to ignore the recommendations of the 1999 Select Committee Inquiry into Business Compliance. Labour had previously promised to implement those recommendations," Mr English and Mr Kyd said today.

"Since it was elected the Government has time and time again added to the costs of doing business: through the Employment Relations Act, changes to ACC, income tax rises, and Fringe Benefit Tax. The Government's latest proposals on electricity and telecommunications will only add to that burden.

"How many times does the Government need to be told that things aren't working well with the RMA, the ERA, the IRD and other Government Departments? If the Government is going to pay more than just lip service to business, then it must act smartly and commit itself to change.

"Today's report gives clear directions on where the Government must move to reduce compliance costs, and improve interactions with business.

"It is time the Government put common sense ahead of its political posturing. We call on the Government to abandon its 'minimal changes' approach to the RMA, and reconsider the proposals put forward by the previous National government," Mr English and Mr Kyd said.

Ends

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