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Labour tries to curry favour with export guarantee

Labour's promise of export guarantees and export credit financing schemes was a last-ditch effort to curry favour with business, Treasurer Bill English said today.

"Having dumped on employers with its insistence on reversing the ACC changes and repealing the Employment Contracts Act, Labour is now trying to buy back a bit of support with promises of export credit guarantees.

"Businesses have given a resounding thumbs down to Labour's plans. Helen Clark and Michael Cullen are being told in no uncertain terms that businesses do not want to see the ACC changes reversed, nor do they want to see the ECA repealed.

"So what does Helen Clark do? In the best tradition of left-wing ideologues, she announces another government scheme.

"Ms Clark gives the misleading impression that export credit guarantees will assist all small and medium business. But they aren't available to every business. Only selected businesses who are exporting to countries where there is a high risk they won't be paid qualify for the guarantees.

"These schemes are in place in a number of countries, and have been tried in New Zealand, but the experience is that they generally loose oodles of money - for instance $30 billion over OECD countries between 1985 and 1989.

"National believes it is better to leave more money in the hands of each business in the first place. That's why we have changed ACC and left $200 million a year with business and why we are going to bring the company tax rate down in the next three years, which will put another $360 million back into businesses.

"This adds up to more than half a billion dollars and it will go a lot further than the $100 million that Labour has promised for businesses," said Mr English.

Ends

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