INDEPENDENT NEWS

ACT To Make Immigration An Election Issue

Published: Tue 31 Oct 2000 08:52 AM
ACT To Make Immigration An Election Issue
Monday 30th Oct 2000 Richard Prebble Media Release -- Economy
“ACT will make immigration an election issue,” said ACT leader Hon Richard Prebble.
“Successive governments have given no priority to immigration. The portfolio is never held by a senior Minister. As a nation we need to debate the issue because who are we as a people will determine our future.
“The latest emigration figures show record numbers of skilled New Zealanders leaving. The latest immigration figures show that the skills of those who are coming are lower than the skills we are losing.
“There is a dumbing down going on. There is a group of people who have significant skills and will fit into New Zealand. They are people who will immediately make a positive contribution. These skills are recognised and they have in the past made an enormous contribution to the nation.
“I am of course referring to New Zealanders who have returned from their OE with enhanced skills and experience. Putting out a Christmas card is not the way to attract these New Zealanders back.
“In the now famous newspaper advertisements we have seen some of the answers. The IMF, in its latest report, also points out the increasing income tax that talented New Zealanders must pay is no way to attract talent home.
“Successive governments, both Labour and National, have ignored the aspirations of skilled New Zealanders – Labour because they did not see them as possible supporters, and National because they saw them as captive voters. As a result middle New Zealand has been over-taxed.
“In effect, taxed twice – once by the government for education, and then again in student fees. Taxed once for a health system and then again to go private because busy people cannot wait. Taxed for savings and then again to save for ourselves. Then we wonder why talented people are leaving?
“One thing that all politicians agree is that in a global economy, skills are vital. If New Zealand was a company, the government would have trouble attracting and keeping talented New Zealanders as a core strategic asset.
“Only ACT has the policies to attract New Zealanders home again, so only ACT can make immigration an election issue”.
For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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