INDEPENDENT NEWS

Bleak Christmas for business under Labour

Published: Wed 4 Dec 2002 02:09 PM
Bleak Christmas for business under Labour
Business is being given both barrels by the Labour Government this Christmas with a series of new bills that’ll push up costs and erode profitability, says National Party Finance spokesman Don Brash.
“It's little wonder the overwhelming majority of the chief executives surveyed by the Business Herald recently believe New Zealand lacks a growth strategy to sustain business success," says Dr Brash.
“Only three of the 55 chief executives which responded to the survey felt there was a growth strategy or ‘the beginnings of one’. Even worse, 87% said they thought the Government/business partnership was not working.
"That’s hardly surprising. This is a business-unfriendly Government, which talks about the importance of economic growth but at every turn erects barriers,” Dr Brash says.
"Look at the current agenda.
· Changes to the Health and Safety in Employment legislation, which will increase the costs, and the risks, facing every employer;
· Changes to the Local Government Bill, which will increase local body rates and the risk local authorities will soon be in competition with the private sector;
· Changes to the Holidays Act and changes to the minimum annual leave law from three weeks to four;
· The imminent ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, which will add cost and risk to most producers.
· Restrictions on the ability of companies to contract out or sell existing operations;
· Proposals to guarantee “equal pay for work of equal value”, with all the bureaucratic nonsense which that implies.
"If Qantas gets significant influence over the way Air New Zealand operates, it seems hard to believe it will lead to a reduction in air fares or a reduction in freight rates and is much more likely to lead to an increase in both.
"And meantime, the Government does nothing to reduce our company tax rate, now the highest in the Asia Pacific region, nothing to fix the endless delays and costs caused by the Resource Management Act, and nothing to reduce the compliance costs which beset small businesses at every turn,” says Dr Brash.
"New Zealand businesses should reflect on whether this is the kind of Christmas present they want from their Government, or if it is what they expect from all the consultations, forums, and talk fests of the last three years," Dr Brash concluded.

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