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robson-on-politics 11 February

robson-on-politics 11 February

robson-on-politics, a weekly newsletter from Matt Robson MP Deputy Leader of the Progressive Party www.progressiveparty.org.nz

Fri 4 February

Abolishing student debt

A key Progressive Party policy is the reintroduction of free education at all levels. Our first step is to meet student loan repayments for three years for tertiary graduates working in New Zealand. We want to achieve that in the coalition government in the next Parliament. Then we want to extend to three years to 10 years.

That is the average time taken to pay off a student loan. The effect will be that, under Progressive policy, graduates working in New Zealand could have their full student debt repaid by government. I will be taking this message to university and polytech campuses around New Zealand starting today. This morning I met Massey University Students Association to outline why Progressive is their best party vote. http://www.progressive.org.nz/student-loans and keynote address to NZUSA:

Adult illiteracy

A Treasury paper released in December revealed that out of 2.65 million New Zealanders aged 16 - 65, 530,000 are illiterate or functionally illiterate. That's 530,000 too many. In Parliament this week, I said "Serious attention needs to be paid to the problem and the Progressives want to do that both in the present government and following the next election."

Household Labour Force Survey

But the good news today is that unemployment has gone down yet again. We now have the lowest rate in the OECD at 3.6%. And even though the labour force continues to expand, the number of people without a job has dropped again. Critics of the "job machine" will have a hard time justifying their claim that our policies are not working. Just look at the evidence!

Picking winners vs picking losers

Protemix is a local company developing a number of diabetes-related drugs, including one they believe has "blockbuster" potential and capable of generating annual revenue of over $1.3 billion. That from just one drug. Government, through the Strategic Investment Fund, has supported Protemix with a $2 million underwrite and a local consortium has injected $24 million of private capital. An astute observer noted "it is pretty hard to pick winners but that it sure beats deliberately picking losers, as implied by the Greens and New Zealand First"

Auckland Progressives meet this Sat 12 Feb 10am Dalmatian Hall, New North Road to focus on campaign 2005. Tel 525 5544 for more info.

Planning for change - I

Interlock's decision to move its plant to China shows that work under way to transform the manufacturing sector into a high-value, high skill industry group is good news. We're working with industry to develop products and connect businesses with markets, and later this year there will be a national manufacturing conference. And one current example: innovative Whispertech has received assistance to ensure that its orders can be filled by New Zealand-built generators. The textiles and footwear sector, facing lower tariffs and a trade agreement with China, is getting $1.1m to help them adjust from commodity goods to high value products. http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1495

Another sad NZ First hoax

But in response NZ First is playing a cruel hoax on workers, with statements attacking our trade efforts. Remember NZ First did nothing when they had the chance. They sat in a market-led government. By contrast our regional and economic development policies are delivering results for New Zealanders.

Planning for change - II

Solid Energy, the Exporter of the Year, has faced up to one of the biggest challenges there is - making coal clean by, for example, progressively withdrawing from the home heating market. That is why they will host the New Zealand Pavilion at Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan. The Expo theme is 'Nature's Wisdom', focusing on new directions for solving global environmental challenges. If we want a society with first world technology, communications, and living standards, then we have to start supporting positive technological developments.

This week on http://www.progressive.org.nz there are stories on: National dithering on Kiwibank

the Chief Justice on crime

an alternative to pseudoephedrine

and 'Turbo-boosting the economy' or, 'Why help Hubbards?'


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