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Labour & Alliance Policies Would Cost 20,000 Jobs

The Labour and Alliance parties' employment policies would increase employment costs by almost 3 per cent, costing up to 20,000 job losses a year, Prime Minister Jenny Shipley said to a business audience today.

Speaking at an ASB and Wellington Regional Commerce luncheon Mrs Shipley outlined the costs of the Labour, Alliance and Green parties' employment promises.

"Higher business costs mean low or even negative job growth and many of the Labour and Alliance commitments will result in either higher debt, higher taxes or higher business costs.

"The policies of Labour, Alliance and the Greens will cost businesses dearly. Some of the costs include:
 Increasing personal taxes by $800 million a year.
 Reversing ACC changes, costing $200 million a year.
 Removing the Employment Contracts Act and increasing the role of unions and multi-employer negotiations, costing $200 million a year.
 Charging employers for paid parental leave costing $100 million a year (Alliance).
 Introducing four weeks' annual leave, costing employers $400 million a year (Alliance).
 Increasing the minimum wage by $20 a week, costing employers $60 million a year, and young people 3,000 jobs.

"These charges will put up the cost of employing people by nearly 3 per cent. This might not sound like much, but it could result in 20,000 fewer jobs, or a 1 per cent increase in unemployment. This is more than the whole work force of Nelson needlessly losing their jobs through Labour and Alliance policies.

"The saddest part is the effect on people, mainly young Maori, whose self-esteem and sense of participation in our society will suffer as a consequence.

"National will keep reducing business costs and unemployment, by reducing wasted effort and finding smarter ways to reach our goals," Mrs Shipley said.

ENDS

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