Canterbury business leaders describes budget “short-term fixes, anything but visionary”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
May 19, 2022 |

The biggest Budget spend up in New Zealand’s history has delivered some, but not a lot, of initiatives that will support businesses in the Canterbury region according to a business leader.

“Some of the initiatives announced in Budget 2022 will go some way towards helping business, however, we would have liked to see more emphasis on initiatives that will help with long-term economic recovery,” says Leeann Watson, Chief Executive of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce.

“The Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce commends the new $100m Business Growth Fund which will support small and medium-sized businesses to access funding to accelerate their development.

“It’s pleasing to see funding allocated towards eight Industry Transformation Plans that will help improve productivity and performance of key sectors in Canterbury – including advanced manufacturers, agritech and construction.

“Extending support for apprenticeships with a $230m boost will alleviate some of the pressure that businesses are facing with severe skill shortages.

“Continued investment in our regions is welcome with a further $110m to continue the Government’s renamed Provincial Growth Fund.

“In addition, the $60m boost to improve rural broadband infrastructure will support remote businesses in our neighbouring regions – including Southland and the West Coast.

“It is disappointing that there is a distinct lack of investment in initiatives to facilitate economic growth in the long-term and address the major challenges facing New Zealand.

“Businesses will still struggle to find skilled staff, the cost of living will remain at unsustainable levels and business costs will continue to remain at crippling levels for the foreseeable future.

“Budget 2022 contains a handful of initiatives that appear to be short-term fixes, but it is anything but visionary.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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