It’s not up to the government

Grant Thorton’s research shows New Zealand businesses had a net 66% positive outlook for this year, compared with a negative 15% outlook at the same time last year.


A lack of direction from the Government is a key threat to a seven-year peak in business optimism, Grant Thornton partner Peter Sherwin says.

Lacking direction? Long before the last election National was clear about where it wanted New Zealand to go and how it would help us get there.

Anyone who doesn’t understand that should read what Bill English wrote:

Economic growth matters because it creates jobs, lifts incomes and improves the living standards of families. Only through lifting our economic growth can we close the gap with our trading partners and create new jobs to replace those lost during the recession.

Making changes that help permanently lift our economic performance will be the overriding focus of the 2010 Budget.

He points out that:

The tradeable side of the economy – exports and those industries that face international competition – has been in recession for five years, with output now some 10 per cent below 2005 levels.

 By contrast, the public sector has grown rapidly, but with poor productivity. That has lowered the economy’s overall productivity. Unless we can turn this around and create the right environment for businesses to compete on the world stage, we will not achieve the sustained increase in incomes the Government aspires to.

The government has identified six key areas as potential drivers of growth:

 These are investment in productive infrastructure, removing red tape and improving regulation, supporting business innovation and trade, improving education and lifting skills, lifting productivity and improving services in the public sector, and strengthening the tax system. The 2010 Budget will feature initiatives across these areas.

All these will help improve the business environment and it’s those businesses which get on with their business without waiting round for the government which will be benefit most from it.

3 Responses to It’s not up to the government

  1. dimmocrazy says:

    Sorry Ele, but those are platitudes that are not helpful to business at all. What is expected is that Government provides CONCRETE initiatives accompanied with details and numbers, so that businesses can plan accordingly. Ambiguous statements of the character of election promises mean nothing, particularly given the demonstrated ease with which they have been abolished.
    It is high time that some clear directives ensue whereby the Nats provide some tangible and measurable sense of their aims and intentions.

  2. homepaddock says:

    DImmocrazy I beg to differ.

    In farming you can’t control the weather, the value of the curency and the markets so you do the best you can with the factors you can control.

    The government is just another variable factor for businesses.

    Those who do the best they can with what they can control will do best in spite of anything the government does.

    This government has started to improve the business environment eg reform of the RMA, and it will do more but businesses which waste time waiting for the impact of those changes are wasting time which would be better spent on their business.

  3. dimmocrazy says:

    Ele, the weather, the “currency” and the “markets” are not factors that actually assume that they exercise any influence at all, in fact, they are not consciously directed in any shape or form, which makes them “factors you can’t control”. In respect of the “government” precisely the opposite applies. It presumes to be involved in economic stimulation, so it should (assuming that this activity is a proper one, which I don’t accept in the first place, but alas), make clear what it actually proposes to be doing, so businesses can plan accordingly.

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