Labour Leader Helen Clark said today that the National Party's Bright Future policy was a joke and little more than an
exercise in hand-wringing at a time when the New Zealand economy needs leadership and action from government.
"National does nothing to address the single most important barrier to the creation of a knowledge-based economy: the
student loan problem and the brain drain. Young graduates are being driven out of New Zealand by the burden of their
"Instead, after nine years of ignoring the systemic failure of the New Zealand economy, what we have is a blatant
National Party election campaign exercise masquerading as a government policy initiative.
"Mrs Shipley and the National Party have indulged in a hugely expensive public relations exercise - funded by the
taxpayer - to announce just over $10 million a year of new funding. It was a launch containing no vision, no coherent
strategy and very little substance.
"For example, yet another committee has been established to look at compliance costs for small businesses. A select
committee last year published a series of recommendations on how to tackle compliance costs. Instead of setting up
another review, those recommendations could have been adopted.
"The money pledged is pitiful. National has shuffled some resources and come up with just over $10 million a year of new
money and some new committees. It is little more than an exercise in hand-wringing when what New Zealand needs is a
government prepared to lead and work with business, the education and research sectors, and the regions to drive a new
economy," Helen Clark said.