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The Coalition Government needs to convince New Zealand businesses of all sizes that they understand them and will work with them rather than against them, National Party Finance Spokesperson Steven Joyce says.

“The Government must take responsibility for the very significant decline in business confidence in this country since the election,” Mr Joyce says.

“It reflects poorly on the Coalition that businesses are much less confident now than they were six months ago, while at the same time the world economy is steadily strengthening.

“The only thing that’s changed in the interim is a whole bunch of Government policies that affect business.

“The combination of some announced policies plus a whole lot more balls the Government has in the air means businesses of all sizes are worried and confused.

“Whether it’s employment law, immigration, student visas, infrastructure, resource law, housing laws, investment rules or tax law, Labour are either stalling progress or leading the country backwards.

“It’s hard enough to run a company in a small country like New Zealand without feeling the Government is making it much harder for you.

“A number of surveys are now saying businesses lack confidence to invest and add jobs. While confidence is often cyclical, if this trend continues New Zealand is going to miss some great opportunities to obtain investment and grow more and higher paying jobs.

“The Finance Minister dismisses the surveys as a one-off and because of a change of Government. That is quite patronising. Business people know the difference between a change of faces and a change of policies. And it’s the latter they care about.

“The Prime Minister keeps declaring she’s going to work with businesses. It’s time

to stop the talk and actually start the walk. She needs to walk back a range of policies that will make it harder for Kiwi businesses to compete and succeed.”

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