INDEPENDENT NEWS

Bendon closure: Why the Alliance is needed in govt

Published: Thu 21 Oct 1999 01:14 PM
The closure of Bendon plants with the loss of 400 jobs shows emphatically why the Alliance is needed in strength in a new government, Alliance leader Jim Anderton says.
'The Bendon plant would not close if tariffs were not being removed.
'National, Act and NZ First all support the government's tariff removal programme.
The Labour Party's slightly slower tariff removal programme would also mean that the Bendon factory closed.
'The Alliance is the only party that will protect jobs by maintaining tariffs on textile imports. If New Zealanders want businesses like Bendon then they need the Alliance in the new government in strength to advocate for the tariff protection which will keep them here.
'The Labour party has argued that the government needs to support regions better. That is true, but it has nothing to do with the Bendon closure. 'There is no credible regional investment programme that would keep the Bendon plants open. They are already in the regions and they have been there for 52 years. What would help to keep the Bendon plant open is a change in tariff policy, and any party that supports continuing tariff removals in effect supports the closure of the Bendon plants.'
Jim Anderton said the Treasury's pre-election fiscal update released today emphasises the need for tariff protection.'
Pr efu says the economy will be operating at full capacity with over 6% unemployed. 'It projects a disastrous current account deficit of 8.3% of GDP or over $8000 million.
'If there is going to be investment in jobs and export industries, then there needs to be tariff protection. Without tariffs, fiscal stimulation will simply worsen the overseas deficit.
'There are serious economic problems revealed in the Prefu. Only the Alliance has a policy package that will increase employment and the rate of economic growth without worsening the overseas deficit,' Jim Anderton said.
ends

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