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Joyce on exports: great goal, glossy doesn’t measure up

Spokesperson for Economic Development

18 August 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Joyce on exports: great goal, glossy doesn’t measure up

The Government’s goal of lifting exports is laudable, but glossy pamphlets and negative interviews won’t get us there, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.

“On TV3’s The Nation this morning, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce provided no new ideas on how to lift New Zealand’s export performance, but attacked Labour’s constructive proposals.

“Lifting exports as a share of GDP from 30 to 40 per cent would be a massive and admirable achievement,” David Cunliffe said. “The problem is that there is nothing in the Government’s thin ‘glossy’ issued this week, or in today’s interview that would get us there.

“Following the week in which unemployment climbed back up to a damning 6.8 per cent, Mr Joyce was tepid in his support for job matching strategies. Labour leads this debate, with initiatives like the unemployment benefit for apprenticeships proposal and our comprehensive tertiary education strategy.

“The Minister bemoaned New Zealand’s lack of business capital, but his only solution was to sell off more of our farm land by weakening investment criteria. He attacked Labour’s pro-growth tax reform, which would level the playing field of business incentives to get capital flowing where it can do the most good.

“Labour understands that the number one concern of exporters nationwide is our punishingly high and volatile dollar. Steven Joyce simply kicked for touch on this issue, refusing constructive debate on monetary reform.

“Name calling won’t trump Labour’s sensible monetary policy proposals based on modern international reforms. National’s ‘hands-off and hope’ approach is simply irresponsible when our dollar is rising relative to others and our exporters are going to the wall.

“Other than glossy PR, Steven Joyce’s only contribution was to exhort regions to ‘dig it and mine it’, despite the proper processes of local democracy and environmental protections.

“That cheap, extractive vision for our economic future is not job rich and does not fit with our global brand or tourism profile. It ignores the need for a proper, high-value economic development and manufacturing strategy.

“Labour is doing extensive research in this area and will have more positive proposals for New Zealanders to consider,” David Cunliffe said.

© Scoop Media

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