INDEPENDENT NEWS

A pitiful Nats hand-wringing exercise - Clark

Published: Wed 18 Aug 1999 12:36 AM
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 student debt.
"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.

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