This week Parliament is sitting and I’m looking forward to another busy week in the House. Last week, during recess, I spent two days in Dunedin. I had a great time catching up with many young Dunedin leaders, as well as a visit to the beautiful Chinese gardens, which help celebrate……… the Chinese heritage of Dunedin.
While in Dunedin I also took time to visit with some small businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of many of our communities. The Government is committed to putting in place the right conditions to give small business owners the confidence to grow, invest, and hire more staff.
We’ve built a more competitive tax system that incentivises savings and investment. And in our first term in office we cut the company tax rate to 28 per cent and the top personal tax rate to 33 per cent. We put more into the back pockets of hardworking kiwis and more money into household budgets when it was really needed.
Our changes to labour laws have enabled small and medium sized businesses to take on more staff. The successful 90-day trial for new employees has been taken up by 60 per cent of employers to hire new staff. We’ve taken some of the risk out of hiring a new staff member and its worked. 40 per cent of employers who hired someone on a trial period would not have taken that person on without it.
Good businesses grow with investment in infrastructure. Last week, a number of senior Ministers released our Business Growth Agenda progress report which looks at our long term investment in infrastructure.
Our Building Infrastructure Report outlines 67 initiatives the Government is undertaking to improve New Zealand’s infrastructure. It includes our $12 billion investment in improving the state highway network, our $1.6 billion investment in broadband, and the $5.5 billion we’re investing in the rebuild of Christchurch.
For businesses to invest in their future in New Zealand, they need to be confident that they will have access to infrastructure that supports their businesses – transport, energy, water and telecommunications.
You can find out more about this, and the many other initiatives we’re undertaking to support small businesses in New Zealand at www.national.org.nz/business.aspx