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Speech From Throne - Call For Consistency

Published: Wed 9 Nov 2005 08:44 AM
Speech From Throne - Call For Consistency
Today's speech from the throne showed there are many areas where business and Government can work together - and many will be welcomed by enterprise - but the Government will need to demonstrate more consistency, and business will judge the success by the outcomes, says Business NZ.
Chief Executive Phil O'Reilly said business will be heartened by the emphasis in today's speech on productivity.
"New Zealand's overall productivity levels need to catch up with those in other developed countries. Focusing on 'producing more per worker', in the words of the speech from the throne, is the way to a more competitive future," Mr O'Reilly said.
"But to be consistent, other business issues need attention, for example today's speech indicated an intention to continue complicating the law relating to contracting, requiring a new contractor to take on the staff and pay rates of a previous contractor. Far from 'protecting vulnerable workers', this is more likely to bring more costs and inflexibilities into cleaning and catering enterprises.
"Another example: uncertainty and cost of energy supply is a huge issue for business. While the business community is supportive of more renewable energy use, it is impractical to make renewables the main focus for energy policy, as indicated in today's speech - hydro and wind energy from existing assets is simply unable to meet projected demand in the near future.
"The skills shortage is another big issue. The intention to invest in education across the board, including on apprenticeships, is welcome, although we would like to see a firm date by which the target of 250,000 in industry training will be met.
"The route to success will be through recognition that business, not Government, is the creator of economic growth. Government has the crucial role of creating a business-friendly environment. Business wants a good faith working relationship with Government so each can play its part in growing the economy. There are many areas in today's speech that will allow for fruitful joint effort."

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