A National Government will repeal 100 regulations in our first six months in Government and we will eliminate two old regulations for every new one we introduce, National’s spokesperson for Economic Development Todd McClay says.
“National understands the effect excessive regulations can have on competitiveness and productivity. We want an operating environment where businesses can thrive and aren’t strangled by red tape.
“We need to regularly test whether regulations are still needed, remove barriers to new businesses entering markets and streamline unnecessarily slow and expensive bureaucratic procedures.
“That’s why we will require future governments and regulatory agencies to undertake at least one regulatory simplification process every three years that looks at reducing the complexity and number of regulations.
“Over a number of years, New Zealand has developed good processes to encourage discipline around the spending of taxpayer money. We need to translate expected levels of fiscal discipline to regulation.
“This requires meaningful cost-benefit analysis of new regulations as well as political discipline. When Government imposes regulatory costs on New Zealanders it should be held to account.
“National understands the importance of moving quickly to introduce new regulations for new technologies to get established, and sometimes to disrupt old patterns. The previous National Government worked quickly to establish a regulatory regime for New Zealand’s growing space industry.
“We will continue to work swiftly as new technologies arrive and we will remove regulations as they become redundant. We understand the kind of regulatory environment that businesses need to succeed.
“National will restore business confidence and revive our economy.”
National’s Economy Discussion Document can be found here
Kiwi businesses deserve a government focused on the basics rather than smoke and mirrors to hide the harm the coalition Government’s anti-growth policies are doing to the economy, National’s Economic Development spokesperson Todd McClay says.
“With slowing GDP growth and talk of deficits and recession the Government must take responsibility for the harm its policies are doing domestically.
“Kiwi business are crying out for better infrastructure, balanced employment laws, lower costs and less regulation. They need a government that can get the basics right on economic growth and development.
“For instance, businesses are desperate for skilled workers yet significant delays in visa processing is slowing business down.
“Tourism businesses are missing out on $150m this year because of falling visitor numbers from key markets whilst the government dreams up new tourism taxes.
“Export education is being put on hold as our universities and polytechnics miss out on $70m of fees this year because student visas aren’t being processed.
“This Government inherited a strong economy, big surpluses and National’s proven economic plan. They’re wasting the hard work of kiwi businesses who deserve better.
“This part time Government must get the basics right before businesses are forced to be part time too.”
The Government must accept responsibility for the fact its lacklustre policies have seen 4000 jobs disappear from our economy, National’s Economic Development Spokesperson Todd McClay says.
“There were 4000 fewer employed people in the March 2019 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. By contrast, 10,000 new jobs were created per month on average across 2015-2017 under National.
“It is a core role of Government to put in place polices that help create jobs and maintain our living standards. But this Government has lost focus and failed to put in place an economic plan that supports employers.
“The Government needs to recognise that what’s driving job growth down is its anti-growth agenda and lack of plan to support our businesses.
“Policies like the oil and gas ban, greater powers for unions, industrial law reform, and increasing labour costs shake business confidence by demonstrating a lack of regard for those who create jobs.
“Policies that increase costs – like higher fuel taxes, new tourist taxes, and increased WorkSafe levies – as well as threatened new taxes on cars and capital gains, make it harder for businesses to employ people and harder for Kiwis to get ahead.
“The Government needs to stop making excuses and get on with putting in place an economic plan to support New Zealand businesses.”
If the Government believes the solution to a slowing economy is lower commodity prices then it’s really in La La Land, National’s Economic Development spokesperson Todd McClay says.
“Forestry Minister Shane Jones’ comments that he hopes log export prices will fall even further is reckless, and could lead to contraction and job losses in some regions.
“The Government needs an economic development plan to grow the economy and support Kiwi businesses. Shane Jones should be backing New Zealand exporters rather than talking down export prices. It’s no wonder business confidence is at decade-low levels.
“Thousands of jobs depend upon forestry exports. The Government should care more about industry job losses in Northland and Wairarapa, as well as other parts of regional New Zealand.
“The Prime Minister must tell her Forestry Minister to rescind his comments and stop talking down export prices.
“National backs hard-working New Zealand businesses and our exporters. We will work hard to deliver opportunities for our export industries by reducing costs and making them more competitive, as well as helping businesses succeed on the world stage.”
If the Government’s response to the lowest levels of business confidence in a decade is to write big taxpayer-funded cheques then expect more to reach for their passports, National’s Economic Development spokesperson Todd McClay says.
“The Government has loaned $15m from the Provincial Growth Fund to geothermal company Geo40, despite its imminent listing on either the New Zealand or Australian stock exchanges.
“This is a shocking use of taxpayer funds from a Government with no economic plan.
“Geo40 says it has been considering relocating offshore. That just shows how dire the economic conditions here have become.
“Labour inherited a growing economy and big surpluses. It should be working to attract businesses to New Zealand though sound economic policies and a clear plan rather than offering dodgy loans and sketchy share schemes.
“Taxpayers’ hard-earned money isn’t a backstop for failing economic policy. Shane Jones has questions to answer around these dodgy PGF loans.
“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to figure out how the loans actually work. Are they interest free? What rates are they being offered at? What kind of risk is the taxpayer signing up for? What does the Government know that banks do not and why is the Crown offering to convert loans to shares? More transparency is needed around this.
“National will back the regions with proven economic policies that deliver for all New Zealanders, rather than photo-ops and spending on a whim.”
The Government’s lack of an economic plan is driving down business confidence and two newly released ‘strategies’ offer no solutions, National’s Economic Development, Trade and Tourism Spokesperson Todd McClay says.
“The Government released the two documents today around innovation and productivity, yet they do nothing to address the causes of a slowing economy and reducing productivity. Business and industry are right to be disappointed by this.
“To drive innovation and productivity, the Government needs to address the problems caused by their own anti-growth policies and create certainty for the business sector.
“Policies that restrict foreign investment, ban industries from operating, make our labour market less flexible and put a handbrake on our economy need urgent attention.
“For instance the horticulture and agriculture sectors need skilled and unskilled labour now to get their products to overseas markets. The New Zealand economy cannot afford to wait decades for technological advancements, it needs real and actual solutions from the government urgently.
“In contrast, National has proposed an ambitious plan to grow our export market through new trade deals and targets in our International Affairs Discussion Document.
“We proposed a new agritech fund to boost technology in the primary sector in our Primary Industries Discussion Document.
“National has committed to indexing tax brackets with the cost of living, ensuring that Kiwis are no longer taxed by stealth.
“National will also be releasing our Economic Discussion Document later this year which will propose a range of ideas to continue to boost productivity, add jobs, and grow our economy.
“These are the kind of ideas that help to grow our economy, support our innovators, and ensure that Kiwis can keep more of what they earn.”
The detention of Newsroom journalists by Fijian Authorities was unacceptable, National’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Todd McClay says.
“Freedom of the media is a fundamental principle of democracy and journalists must be free to tell important stories and ask important questions.
“New Zealand has committed more than $60 million of development assistance and aid to Fiji over the next three years. New Zealand expects Fiji to respect the fundamental freedoms of democracy.
“Mark Jennings, Melanie Reid and cameraman Hayden Aull should not have been arrested. Through their actions Fiji is putting at risk its improving relationship with New Zealand.
“The Government must warn Fiji that these actions are not acceptable and demand that journalists must be free to do their job.”
National MPs Todd McClay and Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi have condemned the recent terrorist attack in India.
“We are deeply saddened by this senseless terror attack in Pulwama, India, in which more than 30 Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed,” Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi says.
“Our hearts go out to families of the brave soldiers who lost their lives today”
“We strongly condemn this terror attack in the strongest possible terms and appeal to authorities to bring those responsible for this crime to justice,” Mr McClay says.
China’s apparent decision to pull the plug on the Opening Ceremony of the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism raises serious concerns about the state of our relationship with our largest trading partner, National’s Foreign Affairs, Trade and Tourism spokesperson says.
“The China-New Zealand Year of Tourism was announced in 2017 under the previous Government aimed at bringing China and New Zealand closer together and encouraging tourism between our two countries.
“In October 2018 it was still going ahead when Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced the the Opening Ceremony at Te Papa on 20 February.
“But just late last month the event was removed from the Year of Tourism’s official calendar and the timings are now ‘to be confirmed’.
“This is being reported as China pulling the plug on the original event.
“It would be a major blow to our tourism sector if our cooperation with China stumbles before it gets out of the gate. The Government needs to explain exactly what’s happened.
“We are already seeing economic headwinds threatening the sector and the Government threatening it with new taxes.
“But the more concerning issue is whether our Government is overseeing a deteriorating relationship with one of our largest trading and tourism partners. This poses significant risks to our export sectors. New Zealand businesses and livelihoods depend on this relationship. If there are issues the public deserves to know.
“The Prime Minister needs to dispatch Kelvin Davis to Beijing to sort this mess out.”
New Zealand must choose a side in the escalating situation in Venezuela, National’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Todd McClay says.
“We have now seen waves of mass protests by Venezuelans who are taking to the streets in opposition to a presidential result widely seen as illegitimate.
“The situation worsens by the day and we cannot continue to claim to be supporters of democracy while the democratic crisis deepens. But the Government is refusing to act.
“By refusing to take a stand to endorse the interim presidency of Juan Guaido, the President of the National Assembly, the Government is de facto endorsing the incumbent regime which is refusing to hold a fresh and fair election.
“That positions New Zealand alongside the likes of Russia and Syria, rather than with our traditional allies including the UK, Canada, the US and Australia who support Mr Guaido.
“The Venezuelan constitution stipulates that without a valid claim to the presidency, the elected President of the Venezuelan National Assembly must step in as interim President to shepherd in new elections.
“The position of countries including the US, Germany, France, Spain, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Chile, Guatemala, Panama, Honduras, Georgia, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, Lithuania, Austria, Latvia, the Netherlands, Finland, Poland, Estonia, Luxembourg, Israel and Portugal is that there isn’t a valid claim on the presidency by any party.
“Just like with the Foreign Minister’s refusal to condemn Russia for the Salisbury nerve-agent attack, New Zealand is again being left behind by our allies by refusing to do the right thing.
“It is vital that fair and free elections are held in Venezuela as soon as possible. The fastest way for that to happen is for the international community to recognise Mr Guaido, as the leader of the National Assembly, and to echo the call for new elections.”