Brash to chair 2025 Taskforce

Rodney Hide has announced:

The Minister of Regulatory Reform, Hide, said the 2025 Taskforce was charged with recommending ways to improve productivity in order to close the income gap with Australia by 2025.

“The establishment of the taskforce was a key component in the ACT-National confidence and supply agreement, reflecting the importance we place on working to close the income gap with Australia,” Mr Hide said. “That income gap is one of the reasons we lose so many talented, hard-working New Zealanders every year.”

The Taskforce will provide an initial report in October 2009. Mr Hide said that report will identify the policy settings and changes that will deliver the productivity growth necessary for a stronger, more prosperous economy. Further progress reports will then be provided in 2010 and 2011.

The five-member 2025 Taskforce will be chaired by Dr Don Brash.

“Dr Brash is ideally suited to role, with his wide experience of economic policy,” Mr Hide said. He was Governor of the Reserve Bank for 14 years, and an important motivation for his entering politics in 2002 was the widening income gap with Australia.”

The other four members are yet to be selected. Mr Hide said ministers are considering potential candidates with strong expertise on the New Zealand economy and public policy.

I have no doubt Don will identify measures that will increase productivity growth. And I have no doubt that because it is Don, Labour and the Greens will oppose it automatically. Their wails have already begun.

The big question, is will the act on the recommendations of the Taskforce? Closing the gap with Australia was a major major plank for National at the last election. I think voters will understand that dealing with the effects of the global recession has been the immediate challenge, but certainly will want to see a firm work programme by the time of the next election. The gap won’t reduce by itself.

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