6 Oct 2020

National would set a target to get unemployment down to 4% by 2025

11:56 am on 6 October 2020

National says if it were in government it would create 10,000 jobs a month and get unemployment heading down to 4 percent by 2025.

National Party leader Judith Collins campaigning at Weatherell Transport in Gisborne on 24 September, 2020.

Judith Collins campaigning in Gisborne (file photo). Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

National's leader Judith Collins is in Auckland announcing her party's economic development policy, under which it would commit to a two-year moratorium on changes in regulations and policies that add costs to businesses.

"This is not a Covid election. This is a jobs and economy election. And anyone voting needs to think about the next three years, not the next three days," Collins says.

"National understands it's businesses that creates jobs, it's businesses that grows the economy, not government. Government is a break on the economy. Government can facilitate the economy but it cannot actually be the economy.

"Putting more costs on businesses destroys jobs and businesses cannot afford to pay for Labour's promises."

Collins says the country needs a government that "not only understands the issues businesses are facing right now, but has the plan and experience to overcome those issues.

"National will revive the economy by supporting our businesses to bounce back and giving them the confidence to lead the recovery and create more jobs and higher incomes for Kiwis and their families."

Measures under the policy include a range of promises National has already made during the election campaign.

National would do the following:

  • Setting a target of 4 percent unemployment by 2025.
  • Replacing the RMA with a new Planning Act biased towards development, and an Environmental Standards Act to protect the Environment.
  • Committing to a two-year moratorium on changes in regulations and policies that add costs to Kiwi businesses.
  • No tax increases or introducing any new taxes.
  • Suspending next year's minimum wage increase.
  • Putting a halt to 70's style fair-pay agreements that the government plans to implement
  • Supporting businesses with $10,000 to hire new staff and provide modern, flexible working practices.
  • Support new business owners through its BusinessStart package
  • A suite of investment-friendly tax initiatives including instant depreciation of up to $150,000 per asset and doubling the depreciation rate for businesses to invest in new plant equipment and machinery over a year
  • Encourage high skilled migrants including surgeons, rocket-engineers and scientist to choose a life in New Zealand to help grow the economy and create more jobs.

Speaking after announcing the policy, Collins said the 10,000 jobs per month were "a target but there's a commitment to getting there".

Collins said it isn't "KiwiBuild-esque" - "We don't promise what we can't deliver".

Challenged about her claims the last National government was creating 10,000 jobs a month, she said: "It's actually creating the environment where people can invest in business and that's the point".

Asked if she'd resign if there weren't 10,000 jobs being created each month if National were elected, Collins said: "No, I'm clear we'd be pretty sure that we are on track, just as we were after the GFC".

With a comparison drawn between Labour's KiwiBuild and National's jobs, Collins said the jobs were a "target" where as KiwiBuild was a promise.

Asked if she'd use that language to "weasel out" if the jobs weren't created, Collins said: "I don't weasel".

National's economic development spokesperson Todd McClay also attended the announcement and is calling for other political parties to follow his party's lead in committing to a two-year regulation and policy moratorium "in order to support businesses to lead the economic recovery".

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