Virtual Hustings Meeting – Question 9
Economy : How will you convince voters Labour’s economic policy will work?
Question : How can we get the voting public to believe that the present economic thinking has failed? And that Labour’s ideas will work for them?
Submitted by : Angie Croft, Christchurch
Explanatory Note: From September 10th to 14th 2013 as part of the official selection process for a new leader the New Zealand Labour Party is holding a “Virtual Hustings Meeting” hosted by Red Alert and organised by Scoop Amplifier. Over 7 days questions were solicited from eligible voters in the election. The questions and answers are now being posted as a set of 14 posts at the Red Alert Labour Party Blog. This started Tuesday 10th September, and continues till Friday 13th September. At Red Alert all-comers are welcome to discuss the answers in the comment section of the blog. The candidates are expected to participate in these discussions at times over the five days till Saturday 14th September.
LABOUR LEADERSHIP CANDIDATES’ ANSWERS
Answer from Grant Robertson
We have to relate our economic vision to the reality of everyday lives.
This means an economy where people come before money. Where the centerpiece is full employment- decent jobs paying decent wages.
We need to talk about Labour using the power of government to help create a productive economy, not one like National’s that is based on speculation and selling off assets.
To create this economy we cannot tinker at the edges. We have to leave behind the neo liberal agenda and create a Labour way. This means changing the settings of monetary policy, giving Kiwi firms a fair go at government contracts, lifting wages, reducing power prices, building affordable homes and investing in industry and regional development.
The message from Labour must be, the economy will work for all New Zealanders not just John Key’s mates.
Answer from David Cunliffe
We need to be clear that the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) blew the lid off the myth that trickle-down economics will create a fairer, more prosperous New Zealand.
Free markets left to their own devices are ultimately destructive of human well-being. Unregulated markets tend towards monopolies and often concentrate vast wealth in the hands of a few. Neither outcome is sustainable or morally right.
When National says they are going to cut people’s legs off, Kiwis don’t want to hear that Labour will too, just nearer the ankles and with more anaesthetic. The post-GFC modern social democratic alternative must include:
• using the power of the state to intervene when markets fail;
• guaranteeing fair workplaces and decent wages through employment laws, including industry standard agreements;
• lifting the minimum wage to $15 and rolling out a living wage as fast as can be afforded;
• building new partnerships between communities, regions, industries and an empowering and investing State; and
• revised marco-economic settings that do not solely focus on inflation but include growth, employment, and our external balance.
New Zealand desperately needs change.
The next Labour Government mustn’t be more of the same.
I am offering Labour a bold economic agenda and leadership with the vision and economic credibility to see it through.
Answer from Shane Jones
Our ideas are exciting. We will use both the market and the State.
I am convinced that our tax system can be refined to incentivise and expedite fresh investment.
Industry will be actively supported, regional development will be promoted and in special cases underwritten.
Our mix of economic stewardship and equity is desperately needed throughout NZ.
I have the experience and the communication skills to sell this narrative.