Parliament

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

 

Urgent Call For Economic Leadership

The Government must act swiftly to confront the impending economic emergency facing New Zealand, Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

"While businesses and families daily feel more worried about the serious situation New Zealand is facing, the Government is muddling along and sending mixed signals about where it is taking the country, " Mrs Shipley said in an address to the Auckland Rotary Club.

"The current acid test of the Government's economic direction is the proposed Singapore Free Trade Agreement. This is potentially an important international trade agreement, but Labour is at odds with its coalition partner, the Alliance, which is foolishly refusing to support the agreement.

"Labour is putting the agreement to the Parliament in an attempt to appease the Alliance which plans to vote against it as a branding difference.

"This sends a weak and destabilising message to the international investment community, which is seeing again that the Government is anti-business. What's more, the Government does not require Parliament's vote to endorse this treaty. It's going down that path because the Alliance wants a chance to show its colours.

"Instead of playing politics with such an important issue, Helen Clark should be sending the right international signal by whipping her partner into line.

"Of course National supports lowering trade barriers, but it is dangerous and presumptuous of Labour to rely on our support, when we have not been involved in negotiating the treaty text and we strongly believe it is the responsibility of governments to enter into these agreements on behalf of their people.

"I expect to be briefed on the agreement this week, and we will then consider the detail of the text.

"This is just one area where there is an urgent need for the Government to show leadership," Mrs Shipley said. Instead we are seeing:

* The collapse of the Kiwi dollar. We have fallen far more against the US dollar than other currencies have, and it is not good enough for Helen Clark to say there is nothing we can do about it. * The Prime Minister's talk of currency union with Australia which is at odds with the Treasurer's comments - and has received a cool reception in Canberra. * The "double whammy" faced by New Zealand businesses and firms, caught by higher petrol prices and a sinking dollar. * A Treasury report predicting higher interest rates and sluggish growth caused by the dollar and high petrol prices. * Independent forecasters projecting a rapid slump into domestic recession and the replacement of projected surpluses into deficits. * Serious question marks about the credibility and performance of Treasurer Michael Cullen. * A sustained exodus of New Zealanders leaving the country for better prospects overseas. * The absurd and internationally damaging sight of Green MPs protesting outside the World Economic Forum where, inside, Michael Cullen, will be trying to convince international investors and observers that the Government is on track. * New Zealanders being asked to accept a proposed code of good faith bargaining principles which even the committee of employers and unions who drafted it cannot agree on. "All these issues have come to a head driven partly by international trends but largely by the Labour-Alliance's Government's damaging policies.

"Every day the Government sits on its hands the situation becomes more serious for New Zealanders.

"If the Government was pursuing productive economic policies there may be some argument in riding out the storm and expecting indicators to improve.

"But as observers as diverse as Gareth Morgan and Chris Trotter are saying, the Government itself is part of the problem.

"I urgently call on Helen Clark to demonstrate her authority by pulling the Alliance into line and confirming the free trade agreement rather than seeking a vote in Parliament - a vote that Labour could lose.

"Further I call on Michael Cullen to acknowledge the serious circumstances in which New Zealand finds itself by putting together a package of fiscal and economic policies which would restore domestic and international business confidence," Mrs Shipley said.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

KiwiBailed: KiwiBuild Head Officially Resigns

The head of Kiwibuild, Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from the role. In a statement issued on his behalf, it was announced that he would step down from today [Friday].

Housing Minister Phil Twyford's office said he would not be commenting on Mr Barclay's resignation as it was an employment matter. Last month, Mr Twyford confirmed that Mr Barclay had not been at work for a number of weeks. More>>

 

Welfare Stats: Rise In Hardship Numbers Shows Income Inadequacy

The latest Ministry of Social Development quarterly report show that a record number of people have received hardship assistance from work and income, with an additional 40,000 hardship payments made between September and December 2018, compared to the previous quarter of the same year... More>>

ALSO:

DHBs "Prepared": Junior Doctors Strike Again

The needs of acute patients will be met during tomorrow's junior doctor strike, a DHB spokesperson says... Almost 3000 junior doctors are expected to walk off the job, which will affect all DHBs apart from West Coast District Health Board. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On MBIE’s Social Media Scam

Given the ambit of MBIE’s work, almost any form of social activity could qualify as being part of MBIE’s brief, so the privacy threats posed by this training programme are extensive. The current oversight safeguards seem threadbare to non-existent. More>>

ALSO:

JusTrade: New Campaign For A 21th Century Trade Agenda

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’ More>>

Earlier:

Gordon Campbell: Thompson + Clark Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

How can we tell where and how any lines are being drawn? Oversight is not exactly robust. If it were, Thompson + Clark would have been out of contention for state security work ten years ago. More>>

Trainers: Taratahi Institute of Agriculture In Interim Liquidation

Taratahi employ 250 staff and this year has provided education to over 2500 students. Taratahi owns and manages 8 farms throughout the country. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Report: Complaints About Deputy Commissioner Wallace Haumaha

The Authority has found that DC Haumaha acted improperly by approaching staff and others to provide information to support him to refute the allegations about his 2016 conduct, or solicited other staff to do so on his behalf... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels