Bill English slams Labour's likely migration cut as likely to choke growth

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Prime Minister Bill English says cutting migration significantly, as he says the Labour Party is likely to suggest, would lead to significant growth cuts in important sectors like construction and IT.

The Prime Minister has blasted the Labour Party's plan to dramatically cut migrant numbers, saying IT, construction and other industries will suffer.
Source: Breakfast
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Mr English, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme, said that while National is suggesting "marginal" adjustments to the yearly immigration rates, they are conscious of halting growth.

"We're still consulting on it ... we've got a growing economy, we need people to do the work," he said.

"We need skilled people coming in - we're not going to take action that would choke off the economy - the growth."

Labour's policy, which is tipped to cut immigration substantially, is "just wrong" Mr English said.

"That's a policy that can't handle being a successful growing country where people want to come to," he said.

"You can't, for instance, cut back migration and have a thriving IT industry.

"You can't cut it way back and build the houses that we need - and surely building houses for people is one of the most important things this country has to do.

"This is a great opportunity that we have over the next four or five years ... we're producing about 10,000 new jobs per month at the moment - [the] best opportunity for young people in a generation ... and they want to choke all that off?"

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