13 Oct 2008

Hide says ACT's economic plan only one that would work

12:02 am on 13 October 2008

ACT has launched its election campaign with leader Rodney Hide telling 400 supporters that his party's economic policies are the only way to help the country grow out of the current global turmoil.

Mr Hide told supporters gathered at Auckland's Alexandra Park that households would feel the impact of a falling New Zealand dollar, and a difficult climate for banks to renew funding.

He says ACT's 20-point economic plan including cutting taxes and government spending is the recovery package that would see the country overtake its nearest neighbour.

"We are the party with the big goal to beat Australia by 2020 economically, socially and politically, environmentally and at sport. That's the ACT goal..

Supporters gave the biggest welcome to co-founder Sir Roger Douglas, with a standing ovation before and after his short address.

Mr Hide attacked Labour's management of the economy and forecast tough times ahead.

He says there will be major adjustment for New Zealand families "no matter what any politician thinks".

"Costs are going to increase making it tougher, much tougher, for New Zealand households and New Zealand businesses," he said. "Tweaking a Michael Cullen budget won't do."

Mr Hide says the Finance Minister rivals former National Prime Minister and Finance Minister Robert Muldoon for "economic ineptitude".

He says New Zealand has been in recession all year thanks to Dr Cullen, and that was before the world financial turmoil.

"We are as a nation heavily indebted," he says. "The rest of the world funds our lifestyle. Our current account deficit is a whopping 8.3% of GDP.

Mr Hide says banks and corporates in New Zealand would find it much tougher to roll over their loans, with a worldwide shortage of investment funds.