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Not Too Late For Green MPs To See Sense

Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley is writing to Green MPs calling on them to reconsider their decision to support the so-called Peoples Bank, in light of new evidence in a business plan which the Government has not allowed the Greens to see.

"If the Greens had known the true shape of this proposed bank I doubt they would have supported it. The more you know, the more you realise that this proposal is merely a political sop to Jim Anderton, to preserve his loyalty to the Labour Government.

"The business plan contains overwhelming evidence that the bank would seek to avoid attracting large numbers of people on low or fixed incomes.

"Mr Anderton has for some time now been perpetuating a myth that his pet project is purpose built to help those on low income. Yet this business plan identifies those people as a 'risk', characterising the unemployed as an undesirable cost because they 'Will be into the branch on benefit day to withdraw their entire benefit in cash'.

"It classifies the very people it is supposed to help most as 'The bottom end of the New Zealand population', and 'The lower end population'. This is hardly the caring and sharing bank Mr Anderton has tried to portray through his rhetoric.

"The business plan also reveals that their business model 'Relies on the customer base being prepared to use other banks ATMs at a higher fee level than they are being charged today'. This is the polar opposite of the lower fees Mr Anderton has repeatedly trumpeted.

"Another key part of Mr Anderton's mythology is also shattered in this business plan. He has consistently portrayed this bank as a more personal form of banking. In reality the less face-to-face contact with customers the Peoples Bank gets, the happier they will be.

"I am saddened that the Greens have been taken in by Jim Anderton's misleading spin, and hope they genuinely take this opportunity to reconsider the facts," Mrs Shipley said.


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