Subsidies For Lucky Few With Industry Policy

  • Bill English

Finance Minister Bill English said economic growth was the best way to boost businesses and the regions, not subsidies for a lucky few as promised in Labour's industry policy.

"This policy spells a return to the days of 'Wellington knows best', with subsidies being dished out to a few businesses and the rest paying higher taxes and fending for themselves.

"The idea of development grants, tax breaks on technology depreciation, export guarantees and credit financing schemes will appeal to people who want to set up businesses.

"But the reality is that only the lucky few are going to see any of this money. Someone's going to have to decide which businesses to back and it won't be all of them. Regional resources could well end up being channelled into lobbying Wellington for a bigger share of the handouts.

"The best way to boost business and create new jobs is through a thriving economy. Already this year we have seen business confidence in the regions lift strongly and the country's economic forecasts are much more positive than was being predicted last year. More jobs are being advertised and it is jobs, not handouts, that will improve our standard of living.

"Labour is promising to increase taxes. Token handouts to a few businesses won't be any compensation for the higher costs that businesses will face," said Mr English.