National Party leader Simon Bridges delivered his first speech on the economy yesterday:
. . Now sometimes people can think the economy equals boring, or that we’re focused on balance sheets rather than people.
But when I talk about the economy, I’m talking about jobs for our children.
About wages for our families.
About the local sparky as much as the big corporation in the CBD.
About the opportunities we can give those kids from Rutherford College to move into work and follow their passion.
He tangata – it is people. The economy is the what and how, people is the why.
We need a strong and growing economy to look after people – to provide the services and infrastructure they need.
We also need a strong economy to enable businesses to succeed, to provide jobs and produce goods and services that we need to export in order to afford the imports that keep us in the first world.
All of this flows from a strong economy.
“But those opportunities aren’t created by accident.
They’re built on the hard work of people who get up early in the morning to go to work, or who stay up late the night before to make the school lunches.
They’re built on the entrepreneurs who take a risk and hire their first staff member, or their hundredth, and the workers who produce world-class exports.
They’re built on a nation of innovative, passionate Kiwis who back themselves to succeed – the farmers just out of town, the butchers down the road, and scientists and teachers and IT whizzes.
There is, however, one group of people who don’t directly create those jobs – and that’s politicians.
Of course we have some part to play. Our role should be to get the settings right and then get out of the way – making good, consistent, sensible policy choices that give businesses the confidence to do business. . .
The government has made a lot of fuss about regional development and has given one minister $1 billion to play with.
The best and most important thing any government can do for the regions and the cities is to get the settings and policies right then and get of the way of people and businesses.
Confident businesses invest and take the risks that enable them to produce more and create more jobs.
They make a bigger contribution to the economy and that enables them and the government to do more for people.