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News about the Economy & Employment


Woodhouse wrote own worm farm risk list


Documents obtained by Labour show Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse was advised to include dairy as a high risk activity in new health and safety legislation but didn’t, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says.

“Advice obtained under the Official Information Act shows agriculture and dairy were originally rated as high risk by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

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Bill English’s first surplus will be his last


On Wednesday it is almost certain the Government will announce a surplus for the last financial year – when it was at the peak of the economic cycle – but will be on course to break its promise for surpluses in the years ahead, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“It would have been inconceivable for National to post a deficit at a time when people were calling the economy a rock star. That they only just managed to scrape together a surplus at all is poor financial management.

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Lowest business confidence in over four years


Business confidence has plunged to the lowest point since the global financial crisis with key sectors such as manufacturing extremely gloomy about the future, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“According to NZIER’s Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion, confidence is net nine per cent negative, with manufacturers a net 35 per cent negative.

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Govt should act now on OECD tax changes


National cannot delay timing and implementation of the OCED’s new tax changes and must act now to crack down on multinational tax avoidance, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“The OECD has announced significant proposed changes to base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) that will make it harder for large multinationals to avoid their tax obligations in this country. But this will only happen if National implements the new rules.

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TPPA fails dairy and foreign buyers tests


The gains from the TPP for New Zealand’s largest export industry have failed to meet the test set by the government, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“The government promised meaningful gains, but the dairy industry is describing the outcome as disappointing. When reports from Canada say their protected dairy sector remains mostly intact, you know that is not a good sign.

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Govt ignored warning of spending blowout


Treasury warned National that it could not meet its public promises on spending from the proceeds of asset sales, and this would lead to a $2 billion shortfall, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Documents released to Labour under the Official Information Act show that officials warned ministers in February the Future Investment Fund – made up from asset sales revenue – would not be able to cover the raft of promises the Government said it would cover. 

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Bright line test already set to flat line


National’s bright line test that comes into force today will have little impact on house prices and speculation, shown by National’s recent last-ditch efforts to talk down the housing market, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Tax and legal experts have slammed the bright line test as ‘a bad idea’, ‘incoherent’ and ‘ineffective’, leaving one ‘professionally confused’. 

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Overcharged drivers must be refunded


The ACC Minister must ensure owners of cars “inconsistently” classified under her flawed risk-rating model are refunded for being overcharged for their motor vehicle registration ACC levy, Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Sue Moroney says.

“The Minister could not explain in Parliament today why the 2011 Kia Sportage was more dangerous than the 2012 model and yet will not refund motorists for the difference in their registration costs.

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Time to sack AgResearch board and start again


Steven Joyce needs to stop the shambolic AgResearch restructure, sack the board and start again to halt the ongoing long term damage to our science skills and biggest export industry, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark.

“Nearly 20 per cent of all science staff at AgResearch are set to lose their jobs. Thanks to Mr Joyce’s gutting of the science sector, there are few opportunities for them and they will head offshore.

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