We face a choice in the November 26 election.
We can choose a Labour-led government that has the policies to address the problems facing New Zealand and the guts to make the hard choices or we can continue to drift backwards under National.
When New Zealand’s credit rating was downgraded last month, (Prime Minister) John Key was too busy talking about his cat on RadioLive to address the crisis. When he finally got around to it, he said his plan was to “muddle through”.
Here’s where three years of National’s muddling gotten us: no economic growth; a record run-up in government debt of $38 billion; the country’s international debt set to rise by $50 billion in the coming five years; and the value of the typical household’s income has fallen by $82 a week as inflation has out-stripped wages.
Compare that to Labour’s record: nine years of growth; nine years of surpluses; government debt paid down to zero; unemployment below 4%; and, by creating hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs, we got over 100,000 people off benefits.
National made big promises but failed to deliver on them.
No wonder over 100,000 New Zealanders have packed up and gone to Australia so far under National.
Dark clouds are gathering on the international economic horizon and the world may well slide into a second recession. Yet National wants to breeze along with no plan other than crossing their fingers and selling our assets.
That is not a responsible government.
New Zealand needs and deserves a government that is prepared to take the tough decisions and fix the fundamental problems that are holding our country back so that we can achieve our potential in the good times and weather the bad times in good shape.
Measures for growth
Labour has a bold plan to turn around our economy while keeping our assets in New Zealand hands. We will (a) eliminate net debt faster than National (b) introduce a capital gains tax to redirect investment away from speculation to job-creating, productive businesses (c) cut tax on research and remove subsidies for polluters (d) encourage savings to build our pool of wealth while making superannuation sustainable (e) make the first $5,000 of everyone’s income tax-free (f) take GST off fresh fruit and vegetables to make healthy food more important for families (g) rather than paying young people the dole, we will pay employers that money to take them on as apprentices (h) not allow deep-sea oil drilling until it is proven that our capacity clean up oil spills (which the Rena disaster has proven are inadequate) have been raised to the highest standard and (i) institute policies to lift wages.
Labour’s plan has been carefully thought-through with proper cost estimates.
With these policies, New Zealand can achieve its potential without selling our assets offshore. It is the plan that we as a country need to let us own our future.
We cannot afford another three years of John Key and National ‘muddling through’.
We need a Labour-led government that will take on the hard issues and deliver for all New Zealanders.