Pay-to-stay approach no answer to falling business confidence

The New Zealand National Party

If the Government’s response to the lowest levels of business confidence in a decade is to write big taxpayer-funded cheques then expect more to reach for their passports, National’s Economic Development spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“The Government has loaned $15m from the Provincial Growth Fund to geothermal company Geo40, despite its imminent listing on either the New Zealand or Australian stock exchanges.

“This is a shocking use of taxpayer funds from a Government with no economic plan.

“Geo40 says it has been considering relocating offshore. That just shows how dire the economic conditions here have become.

“Labour inherited a growing economy and big surpluses. It should be working to attract businesses to New Zealand though sound economic policies and a clear plan rather than offering dodgy loans and sketchy share schemes.

“Taxpayers’ hard-earned money isn’t a backstop for failing economic policy. Shane Jones has questions to answer around these dodgy PGF loans.

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to figure out how the loans actually work. Are they interest free? What rates are they being offered at? What kind of risk is the taxpayer signing up for? What does the Government know that banks do not and why is the Crown offering to convert loans to shares? More transparency is needed around this.

“National will back the regions with proven economic policies that deliver for all New Zealanders, rather than photo-ops and spending on a whim.”

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