Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


National,Act,Fed Farmers should get facts straight

The Green Party today accused National, Act and Federated Farmers of scaremongering over the decision to freeze tariffs at current levels.

The Green Party supports the Government's move and is also calling for the Government to investigate introducing new tariffs for job creation and balance of payments purposes.

"National's John Luxton is claiming the tariff freeze will hit many families who rely on cheaper clothing and shoes but he ignores the fact that families have been forced into buying cheap imports because of the impact of previous tariff cuts," Green Party Trade spokesperson Rod Donald said.

"According to Apparel and Textile Federation figures over 10,000 people lost their jobs in the last decade because National reduced tariffs on textiles clothing and footwear.

"Many more other workers are on low wages because their employers are forced to pay close to the minimum wage in the face of unfair competition from sweatshop imports.

"National's claim that clothing and shoes will be 20% more expensive in 2006 than they would have been if tariff cuts had continued is patently ridiculous. Federated Farmers claim that households would save $1000 a year if tariffs were removed is totally unsubstantiated. Act does not even try to justify its idealogical rant against freezing tariffs.

"The facts, according to the Apparel and Textile Federation, are that freezing tariffs at current levels will mean that New Zealanders will pay about $25 more per person per year for clothing and $8 per person per year for shoes - a fraction of the extraordinary figures claimed by those opposed to the tariff freeze," said Mr Donald.

"Predictably, the opponents of tariffs failed to acknowledge the beneficial impact of protecting New Zealand businesses and workers from unfair competition.

According to the latest BERL (Business and Economic Research Limited) report prepared for the Industrial Supplies Office (part of the Ministry of Economic Development) nearly sixteen jobs are lost for every $1 million of imported goods which were previously made here. On top of that the job losses lead to increased welfare payments of $159,000, reduced taxation revenue of $118,000 and reduced spending power of $259,000.

"Some commonsense on trade policy is long overdue. The Green Party is urging the Government to conduct a comprehensive cost benefit analyses on tariffs, including the benefits of introducing new tariffs to boost employment, reduce the trade deficit and protect our quality of life.

"If National, Act and Federated Farmers genuinely want to help low income families they should be promoting 'Buy New Zealand Made' amongst their supporters," he said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>


Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>


No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>


Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>


Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>


Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels