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Budget a squandered opportunity

David Carter National Finance Spokesperson

23 May 2002

Budget a squandered opportunity

"If this is as good as it gets then New Zealand is in serious trouble," says National's Finance spokesman David Carter.

Commenting on today's Budget, Mr Carter says it shows a real lack of ambition and is devoid of credible policy to lift New Zealand's sustainable long-term growth rates. "All this Budget proves is that Labour has no credible plan for growing our economy.

"Unfortunately, it believes the only way to achieve sustainable growth is through Government control and to establish more committees, hand out a few grants and to try and pick winners.

"This is nothing but old fashioned intervention dressed up as economic transformation, designed by bureaucrats for bureaucrats. It is Muldoonism in drag.

"National believes that every New Zealand business can be a winner if given the right environment."

Mr Carter says it's disappointing that the Budget has failed to implement policies that will actually lock in long-term, sustainable growth rates.

"This Budget has done nothing about rewarding success and reducing taxes, or dealing with excessive red tape and costs that businesses face, or decreasing Government debt - in fact it is increasing it.

"National has included these measures - and much more - in our recently released growth strategy. Unlike the Budget, it is a comprehensive plan aimed at lifting New Zealand's long-term economic performance.

"This Government has talked and talked for over two years about economic transformation. But all this Budget shows is that it has, again, squandered the opportunity to actually do something about it," Mr Carter concluded.


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