Jacqui Dean has a lash at Nash over small business policy – but perhaps she should wait until August

She complains that small business owners are still waiting for the Small Business Council to do something for a sector struggling with rising costs and prescriptive labour law changes.

“It has been five months since the council was formed and after four meetings, including one in November, there has been no tangible improvements for small business.

“In fact, despite the council stating, almost eight weeks ago, that it would increase its focus on how it could “better support” small business, nothing has been forthcoming.” Continue reading “Jacqui Dean has a lash at Nash over small business policy – but perhaps she should wait until August”

The case for a sugar tax is sweetened if NZIER report is overlooked

When Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand would  not join the countries that are signing up for a war against drugs – as championed by US President Donald Trump – she said her government has an agenda that is focused on addressing issues around drug use.

“We have a number of challenges that are quite specific to New Zealand and the type of drugs that are present, but also I’m taking a health approach.

“We want to do what works, so we are using a strong evidence-base to do that.”

Whether she will similarly use a strong evidence base to decide on how to reduce sugar consumption is a moot point.

Questioned a year ago by Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB, she said reducing sugar is a priority of the new government. Continue reading “The case for a sugar tax is sweetened if NZIER report is overlooked”

Check out what most influences business confidence – its (no surprise) government policy

Economist  Donal Curtin deserves our plaudits for an idea he threw out in August, suggesting on his blog that somebody ought to ask New Zealand businesses exactly what’s bugging them when they report low levels of business confidence.

We should thank the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, too, for acknowledging it was a good idea and doing something about in the latest Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion.

The institute included a question in its survey to find what influences business sentiment.

The survey results are clearly awkward for the government, showing a further deterioration in business confidence. A net 28% of businesses expect economic conditions to worsen – the lowest level since March 2009. Continue reading “Check out what most influences business confidence – its (no surprise) government policy”