Brash style policies left the Coast devastated
14 July 2004
Brash style policies left the Coast devastated but the Labour Progressive Government gets on with the job
While visiting the West Coast this week Jim Anderton has suggested Coasters remind Mr Brash of a few key points on his visit. The Economic Development Minister and Progressive Leader has been busy getting things done for Coasters, working with them on economic development, while Dr Brash will be doing media stunts.
"The economic policies that Brash supports caused an unmitigated economic disaster for the Coast and New Zealand in the 1980s and 1990s. We underwent an extended period of economic failure. Unemployment rose massively and the regions were crushed all at a time when the rest of the world’s economy was soaring.
"If we had just done what Australia did, every New Zealand family would be $175 a week better off right now.
"Have we learned our lesson? Listening to Mr Brash, perhaps not. There are plenty of parties in politics ready to take us back to the past, National and ACT in particular. No wonder they are quiet about their economic policies.
"The Opposition still believes in asset sales. If you are enjoying Kiwibank, remember that Don Brash will sell it by lunchtime. And Air New Zealand, which the taxpayer had to step in to save, Don Brash will sell by lunchtime too.
"What about Solid Energy? It is doing great things on the Coast. Well, when I came into government, there was a proposal to sell some of the mines. This government put a stop to that. The pay-off for the Coast and New Zealand has been immense.
"It’s good to have the railways' tracks in public ownership isn't it, but remember, National sold them for a dollar last time - actually gave them away! Maybe next time they’ll sell them for two dollars.
"Superannuitants are (or should be) getting much cheaper visits to the doctor. Can you trust the Opposition to keep the price of doctors visits down? The Progressive Party won lower doctors visits for under 18 year olds and superannuitants through reasoned argument. National would never have done that.
"These things show the kind of progress you can achieve when you are in a co-operative coalition like the Labour Progressive Coalition Government. That shows there is a point in having a coalition partner around the cabinet table and that it does matter who the partner is! We don’t always get the credit but we are in there making a difference.
"The Coast economy is going better than it has in a generation. The living standards of all New Zealanders are up. Superannuitants have more security than there has been in years.
"There is every reason to feel confident and positive about the West Coast but I remind people to tell the National Party leader, when he visits next week, that we are making too much progress to go back to the failed policies of the past.