10 Nov 2008

Business sector welcomes National victory

7:20 am on 10 November 2008

The business sector has welcomed the National Party's election victory and is expecting a more sympathetic hearing to their ideas from a centre-right coalition.

With the fallout from the global financial crisis set to worsen, and the economy in recession, Prime Minister-elect John Key has promised further tax cuts and to accelerating planned infrastructure projects to help bolster activity.

At the same time, business want the new Government to tackle a number of issues, including changes to the Resource Management Act and emissions trading scheme, greater labour market flexibility and reducing the size of Government.

Business New Zealand chief executive Phil O'Reilly says lifting productivity is crucial. He said it is the reason why New Zealand is not competitive in world markets and Australia is.

But there is criticism from some business quarters, such as Northern Employers & Manufacturers Association about National's plan to axe tax credits for research and development.

There has also been a call for National to push skills training and education, particularly as firms and workers come under further pressure.

Meanwhile, the Council of Trade Unions is wary of National's stated policies.

Spokesperson Peter Conway says it remains to be seen whether the global financial crisis will put some of National's plans on hold.