Tag Archives: Economic policy

NZ immigration does more harm than good | Instant News

“New Zealand immigration that is totally inflexible seems eager to disrupt New Zealand’s food supply chain,” said ACT Immigration spokesman Dr James McDowall and ACT Primary Industries spokesman Mark Cameron.

“The government should be in a foothold now, propping up export revenues from agriculture, but it seems unable to take a sensible approach to the Seasonally Recognized Entrepreneur (RSE) scheme,” said Dr McDowall.

“Instead it complicates the scheme and dictates how they should run their business.

“ACT proposes a common sense solution to anticipate disasters for the horticulture industry.

“This is not just about the Government’s failure to bring in enough skilled workers from the Pacific Islands where there is no COVID-19.

“This is about the lack of collaboration from Immigration NZ around workers who are already in the country, but otherwise not allowed to work because Immigration NZ is not flexible about who they can work for.

“ACT said that NZ Immigration should be as flexible as possible around visa status and where RSE workers can work, but for them it is as if COVID-19 has never happened.

“Despite the best efforts of industry leaders, Immigration NZ employers and lawmakers seem totally uninterested in discussing sensible pragmatic policies, such as rapidly changing visas for those already in the country or overhauling the Treaty to Recruit scheme. to offer jobs to RSE workers, “said Dr. McDowall.

“I don’t think the officials in Wellington know how dire the situation is,” Cameron said.

“Sector by sector we can face disaster, with the apple industry in crisis right now.

“Other vegetable farmers face similar challenges and farmers of berries and kiwifruit are close at hand.

“The Government’s approach has limited the number of workers from offshore and provides incentives to those with welfare to work in the horticulture sector.

“While well intentioned, it shows they have little or no understanding of the realities on the ground, and what it takes to harvest New Zealand crops.”

“It’s a physically demanding job, and any employer in the sector will tell you the same thing – New Zealanders don’t want the job, and many of them turn out to be unreliable.

“It’s a shame, but it’s the honest truth.”

“Our food supply chain will be severely affected by NZ Immigration’s failure to understand its purpose, and Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi needs to be aware of that reality,” said Dr McDowall.

“ACT says we need to take a sensible approach – fast track visas, allow those who are already here to work without delay, and allow workers from COVID-19-free countries to enter without MIQ, with reasonable health measures in place. on farmland.

“The way MIQ is regulated, these workers are more likely to catch COVID-19 in isolation facilities with people from countries where the virus is spreading.

“It is not too late to avoid the worst of what will happen under current policy settings, but the Government needs to listen to the sector and move quickly.

“If not, eventually New Zealanders will pay the price in supermarkets, and farmers will reduce their incomes, which means less investment in one of our main export sectors.”

© Scoop Media


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Draghi brings market knowledge, desire to tame the Italian crisis | Business news | Instant News

MILAN (AP) – The former head of the European Central Bank who helped save the euro has now been drawn to lead Italy, the eurozone’s third-largest economy, out of the worst pandemic and recession since World War II.

Mario Draghi won global accolades as head of the European Central Bank for eight years, managing monetary policy for 19 euro-using economies, with an economy worth 12 trillion euros ($ 14.4 trillion). Draghi, 73, not only has an insider understanding of the financial rulebook Italy must follow, but he also respects those whose patience Italy may need during difficult months and years to come.

“When Draghi picks up the phone to call the White House, President Joe Biden will answer. Because that is Mario Draghi, ” deputy manager of Milan’s leading daily Corriere della Sera, Daniele Manca, said Wednesday. “The same goes for (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel and (Chinese President) Xi Jinping.”

A seasoned treasurer who became Italy’s central bank and later Europe’s top central bank, Draghi brought gravity, crisis management and market knowledge to the task of regulating Italy from the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis. President Sergio Mattarella appointed him to form a broad-based government after bickering among Italy’s coalition parties over the viral response that caused Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to resign.

Speaking on Wednesday at the presidential palace in Rome, Draghi listed the priorities facing Italy: “tackling the pandemic, completing the vaccine campaign, offering a response to the daily problems of citizens, relaunching the country.”

Financial markets welcomed the prospects for Draghi’s government. Italy’s borrowing costs on debt, the second highest in terms of GDP in Europe, slumped, while stocks advanced 2%. One financial analyst summed up sentiment with the subject line: “We love Mario Draghi!”

Draghi isn’t afraid to find bold solutions to big problems. When the eurozone faced a crisis of confidence in 2012, he famously told a conference in London that the ECB would do “whatever is necessary to safeguard the euro. And believe me, that’s enough. “That promise, supported by a new ECB policy, helps stabilize markets that threaten to split the euro.

He took a pragmatic approach during the financial crisis. He expanded the range of the ECB’s stimulus policies to include large-scale bond purchases. He is also overseeing the ECB’s move to become the main banking watchdog after the bank failed to play a key role in eurozone issues.

His most recent tenure leading the ECB, which ends on 31 October 2019, is well positioned to help Italy overcome its difficulties as well as some 200 billion euros in EU recovery funds.

If Italy needs to take advantage of ECB bond market bottlenecks, which aim to keep euro nations’ borrowing costs from soaring to unaffordable levels, there is nothing better than Draghi: he’s overseeing the design of the barrier and opening in 2012.

He will also be very familiar with the complexities of European bailout funds created during the eurozone debt crisis.

Draghi joined the ECB as its third chairman in 2011, just as Italy is hit by a debt crisis. As ECB-appointed president, Draghi and later ECB head Jean-Claude Trichet intervened in Italian politics in an August 2011 letter to then Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi demanding reforms to cut deficits, boost growth and tackle the financial market crisis that threatens to split the euro.

The ECB then began buying Italian bonds to stabilize government borrowing costs in what appears to be an unstated quid pro quo. The ECB denies any agreement. ECB bond purchases did not ease government pressure as Berlusconi’s efforts at economic reform faltered; Berlusconi stepped down in November 2011 and was replaced by technocrat Mario Monti.

Born in Rome, Draghi graduated from the University of La Sapienza there with a degree in economics and obtained a Ph.D in 1976 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied under Nobel laureate Franco Modigliani. Among his fellow students at MIT was Ben Bernanke, candidate for head of the Federal Reserve. He teaches at the University of Florence, and is also a high-ranking official at the World Bank, based in Washington.

Draghi served from 1991 to 2001 as a high-ranking official in the Italian Ministry of Finance, under governments of various orientations, from the conservative Berlusconi to the former communist Massimo D’Alema. He oversaw the privatization of Italy’s state-owned industry and helped Italy organize its finances to join the euro as a charter member in 1999.

Many in Italy hope Draghi will be available to take over when President Sergio Mattarella’s term ends in 2022, untainted by Italian politics. The ceremonial role has largely proved key in helping to manage the all too frequent political crises in Italy, which require deft negotiations and undeniable knowledge of the Italian constitution and institutions.

While it cannot be ruled out that Draghi could replace Mattarella as president in just about a year, the odds are slim given the size of the task facing Italy and the time of crisis.

Draghi comes with some luggage. As a central banker who was involved in overseeing the strict austerity policies imposed in several European countries during the crisis, he has been viewed with skepticism in some angles as someone against financial interests. The stint at investment bank Goldman Sachs will only magnify the criticism.

Few Italians can afford to risk success abroad being successful at home. Monti, a former EU commissioner, is widely credited with helping Italy recover from the 2011 debt crisis, but his legacy was blurred when he formed his own party and ran in the next national election.

Any of Draghi’s reigns are likely short-lived. The current parliamentary mandate has been extended for another two years. But analysts say Draghi’s tenure may be shorter.

“The very plausible scenario is that, once vaccinations are over and the economy starts to recover, the parties withdraw their support and call for new elections,” said chief Italian economist for Oxford Economics, Nicola Nobile. That will most likely happen next spring, after the new president is appointed.

McHugh reported from Frankfurt.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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It is important for the UK to turn the trade liberalization narrative into action when trying to join the CPTPP | Instant News

In welcoming Britain’s request to join the CPTPP agreement, the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) stressed the need for the UK to turn its statement of commitment to leadership in global trade liberalization into meaningful action.

“The UK’s request to join the CPTPP is a great sign of its interest in advancing global trade liberalization. However, the real test of UK trade leadership stems from how they honor existing commitments and what they are prepared to put on the table in negotiations, ”said DCANZ Chair Malcolm Bailey.

“Despite Britain’s strong assertions of ambition, including for a high-quality UK-New Zealand FTA, we have not seen it fix concerns about reduced access to quotas after Brexit and we have detected doubts on its part to bring real liberalization to the table FTA negotiations. Avoiding a distraction between intent and action is important if current and potential trade negotiating partners are to have faith in Britain’s stated ambitions ”.

New Zealand’s dairy sector is prioritizing the UK-New Zealand FTA to agree on a final point of comprehensive tariff elimination for all dairy products. This would put New Zealand’s milk exporters on par with European exporters in terms of the level of market access they have had to the UK market for nearly 50 years. The UK has reaffirmed its ability to provide full liberalization of dairy products through the bilateral trade agreement it recently concluded with the EU.

“We urge the New Zealand Government to send a strong message to the UK that they must prove their trade credentials before being granted the privilege of being the first country outside the Trans-Pacific region to benefit from CPTPP membership”.

The UK, as a major economy forging its own independent trade policy, has a unique opportunity to set the tone for global trade policy at this pivotal moment. The world needs frictionless trade to support the COVID-19 pandemic response and economic recovery, and as protectionism threatens to raise its ugly head in other countries on the COVID-19 response, assertive leadership from the UK will provide the global economy much-needed confidence.

© Scoop Media


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New Zealand Receives News of UK Requests To Join CPTPP | Instant News

The Minister for Trade and Export Growth, Damien O’Connor, today welcomed Britain’s intention to submit a formal request to approve the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

“The challenges facing global trade and the economic environment have been exacerbated by COVID-19. In this context, New Zealand sees the CPTPP’s goal of maintaining and fostering open rules-based trade as more important than ever. We believe the CPTPP can provide leadership in our region and beyond to drive post-COVID economic and trade recovery. The UK’s move to join the CPTPP underscores the importance of the Agreement in this respect, ”said Damien O’Connor.

“To initiate this process, the United Kingdom needs to provide a letter to New Zealand, as the CPTPP Depository, formally expressing interest in joining the 11-member trade agreement.”

Under the CPTPP guidelines, the next step is for all CPTPP members to discuss UK requests, and form a working group to negotiate British accession to the Treaty.

“New Zealand has always supported expansion of the CPTPP by those willing to comply with the high quality of the Agreement, so we are very welcome to news that the UK intends to take immediate formal steps to initiate this process.”

“With the UK going to be the first to make a formal request following the entry of the CPTPP, it is important to set a strong precedent that reinforces the commitment of new members to fully deliver high standards, including in the access market, that is the hallmark of the CPTPP. We look forward to discussions with the UK to achieve this result. “

New Zealand launched trade negotiations with the UK in June 2020 and is working to achieve an ambitious, comprehensive and inclusive bilateral Free Trade Agreement. Both sides see the conclusion of a high-quality, comprehensive and future-focused FTA as a valuable stepping stone towards Britain joining the CPTPP.

The United Kingdom is New Zealand’s sixth largest trading partner, with nearly NZ $ 6 billion in two-way trade in 2019. With Britain leaving the European Union, it has moved to launch new trade negotiations, including separately with the US, Australia and New Zealand; and now the CPTPP as a group.


• The CPTPP is an 11-member trade agreement involving New Zealand, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. This will take effect on December 30, 2018.

• New Zealand performs a legal ‘Storage’ function for CPTPP. This requires maintaining certified copies of the Agreement and any amendments, as well as receiving and circulating certain official correspondence regarding the Agreement.

What happened next?

• The CPTPP Ministers agreed on the accession procedure at the CPTPP Commission’s first meeting held in Tokyo in January 2019.

• Under this procedure, CPTPP members will now discuss UK requests and consider setting up a working group to negotiate British accession.

• An important part of this discussion is to understand the UK situation and to identify how the UK will meet the standards required under the CPTPP – both in terms of its rules and in terms of market access commitments.

When did the accession negotiations begin?

• The accession procedure does not specify a time frame. However, they indicated that CPTPP members needed to make a decision on whether or not to form a working group ‘within a reasonable timeframe’.

• Those who wish to participate are encouraged to consult with each CPTPP member individually to answer any questions or concerns they may have, which may take time.

How will the UK’s application to join the CPTPP affect the New Zealand-UK FTA negotiations?

• Both parties are committed to working actively to achieve high-quality, comprehensive and inclusive bilateral FTAs.

• Negotiations were launched in June last year and we have done two rounds so far, with a third one underway.

• We both see the preliminary conclusions of a high-quality bilateral FTA as a valuable stepping stone towards UK accession to the CPTPP.

© Scoop Media


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Benefits of Louisiana food stamps growing under virus relief packages | Government-and-politics | Instant News

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Families in Louisiana are eligible for a 15% increase in their food stamp allowance through June, under a federal coronavirus aid package passed by Congress.

The state says any increases due to people receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP or more commonly as food stamps, start transferring to benefit cards on Fridays.

The latest federal coronavirus law does not extend eligibility for food stamps. But Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate Report that state officials said several important provisions would increase the reach of SNAP.

Shavana Howard, assistant secretary for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, said the program will no longer count extended federal unemployment benefits as income, which previously put SNAP out of reach of 44,165 applicants between March and July and ousted 2,185 households that received it. allowance. Howard said many students who also did not qualify for food stamps because a portion of their parents’ income was calculated for them to qualify this time.

“I am very excited to see Congress actually acting on people who really need help,” Howard said.

In Louisiana, a family of three previously would receive a maximum ration of $ 535 per month, but will now receive $ 616 for eligible food purchases.


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