David Shearer has been clear from the start that he wants a clean, green, diversified economy – to ensure New Zealand’s future prosperity.
With my appointment as Economic Development Spokeperson comes a big challenge. We need to present a credible plan to get to a prosperous diversified economy. I’m excited about this opportunity.
Steven Joyce spent a year with the huge bureaucratic resources of MoBIE and failed to map anything but a managed decline. His ‘Business Growth Agenda’ finalised yesterday has proven little more that a year long coms plan. It’s been a year of existing policy re-heats with a few meek ideas thrown in for colour.
But Joyce is vulnerable. Because the facts are drowning out his spin.
Last year 30,000 jobs were lost. Unemployment is pushing 7%. 1000+ Kiwis are leaving for Australia permanently every week.
No amount of spin can hide the fact that the Government has no plan for sustainable economic growth. Selling off our best revenue-generating assets is National’s big idea. Treasury says it will set back the Government coffers by about $100m/year. Other than that, they intend things to continue as they are.
I’ve always maintained that the market makes an excellent servant and a terrible master. And this Government is failing to control the market. It is failing to deliver jobs. Right now so many hard-working New Zealanders are being treated like its slaves, forced to be grateful for any scraps that fall from the table. A full 40% of Kiwis earn less than a living wage.
Labour already has chunky policy announced that will lead to economic growth, jobs and an export-led recovery. In particular we want a pro-growth capital gains tax, Research and Develoment Tax Credits, Universal Kiwisaver, Pro-Kiwi procurement policy and tools for the Reserve Bank that will allow it to do what overseas countries are doing to assist their exporters. These changes will give the economy a shot in the arm and create jobs.
There is more to explore. Sector-specific incentives for growth beg consideration, as do the implications of Labour’s affordable and healthy housing announcements. They will create jobs as will our commitment to creating more apprenticeships. Labour wants a market that generates jobs, living wages and future prosperity for our country.
We need change, because the old solutions have been shown to fail. Right now, the market and it’s hands-off disciple Mr Joyce are not working in the interest of New Zealanders.