Robertson Pay Intervention Sums Up Government Attacks on Business

Mon, 30 Sep, 2019

“Grant Robertson’s intervention sums up this Government: It is marketing-led policy failure,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Writing to the directors of major companies telling them to consider the Government’s image when they make commercial decisions sums up this Government’s attitude to business - Something that pays tax and suffers our regulatory whims.

“Ultimately wellbeing comes from good policy, but this policy makes us worse off. Now, worrying about whether they’re a good look for the Minister of Finance will compete with ensuring their companies are attractive to customers, employees, and shareholders.

“In addition to giving the extra task of making the Government look good, the policy may reduce the level of governance expertise available to the companies. No rational company pays its directors excessive fees out of generosity, they pay what’s required to ensure they have sufficient governance expertise to achieve their goals. Other things being equal, a de facto cap on governance fees will reduce the quality of governance available.

“It is a hallmark of this Government that image trumps policy that actually works. Kiwibuild, Child Poverty Reduction, the Arms Legislation and plastic bag bans are all marketing-led policy failures that don’t achieve their intended outcomes.

“If the Government wonders why business confidence is in the tank, it need look no further than these kinds of childish interventions."