3 Sep 2018

Business confidence 'falling off a cliff' - Bridges

3:43 pm on 3 September 2018

Opposition leader Simon Bridges says business confidence is "falling off a cliff" and he wants to hear what small and medium businesses need.

The National Party is launching a chance for small and medium businesses (SMEs) to offer their views on government policies that impact on them.

"Right now, what's driving the falling off a cliff in business confidence is SMEs, who are doing it tough, who are worrying," Mr Bridges said.

"We want to be out there having their back, listening to them.

"We want to hear it from them and develop our discussion document and policies off the back of it."

He said small and medium businesses could easily go under if government policies were not working.

"The cost of compliance, the taxes, the uncertainty ... a big Air New Zealand type company may be able to handle it, but the SMEs it can literally kill them week by week.

"We will be asking questions like what are the policies that worry you most, what's the priority order you would like to see from us in terms of RMA reform or industrial law reform, or building, health and safety.

"And a sense of how they like to interact with government agencies, which ones they like and so on."

Mr Bridges criticised the recently launched Business Advisory Council that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said would build closer relationships between businesses and the government.

He said the advisory council would address the concerns of big businesses, but small and medium businesses were struggling the most.

National's business campaign is the first in a series of projects to gain people's views, so that the opposition can formulate policies before the next election in 2020.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs