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robson-on-politics 18 February

robson-on-politics 18 February

robson-on-politics, a weekly newsletter from Matt Robson MP Deputy Leader of the Progressive Party

Fri 18 February

Why do the Progressives want to cut company tax?

The Progressive Party is the only party on the Left that'll be campaigning for a company tax rate cut this year. Our party's platform is consistent with the Swedish Social Democrats, a party that has delivered the most gains to working people anywhere in the world.

Sweden's ruling party, which has won nearly every election in the past 60 years, is very mindful to ensure its pro-economic development policies are pragmatic, principled, and far-sighted.

With a headline company tax rate of 28%, and an outstanding-by-European-standards economic growth rate of near 4 per cent, the Nordic peoples' party has made it clear it will cut company tax further to ensure Sweden retains a competitive edge.


How to safeguard progressive government

Our progressive government is the first centre-left government since 1943 to have a credible chance of winning a third consecutive election. We've managed this historic feat by sticking to two Golden Rules.

First, deliver practical policies like four weeks' annual leave, industry and regional development programmes to fuel job-creation, introduce and expand paid parental leave, deliver annual rises to the minimum wage, drive a carrot and stick anti-drugs policy that thumps the peddlers of dangerous drugs while helping their victims get back on their feet, and invest in the country's needs from Kiwibank to Air New Zealand, to the rail corridor, to meeting future energy demand.

See Matt's article in the NZ Herald this week:


Second Golden Rule: Don't help the Tories

The second Golden Rule, and this one has only been possible because of Progressive's staunch approach to internal coalition management, is to suck the oxygen out of the right wing parties' endless attempts to portray the Left as "divided" "elitist" and "out of touch" (or PC).

Our policy discussions, disagreements and lobbying with Labour are done in-house because we know right wing parties would relish the chance to portray any serious public policy discussion between Progressive and Labour as "coalition instability," "infighting" or worse. We're not going to hand that advantage to the Right who want to reverse the progressive policy gains we've made.

Progressive's total solidarity with the interests of working families gives the public confidence that our coalition government is serious and professional.

See: MMP is working


Dangers to progressive, pro-worker policies

Unless the centre-left parties win an absolute majority in Election 2005 then there is no guarantee of either another Labour-Progressive government, or even of a Labour-led government of any description.

The parties that say they are "open" to entering either a Don Brash-led government or a centre-left government are just playing with us. They are Trojan horses for ACT's agenda but they don't want to say so publicly before polling day. It worried me that Tory MPs were rubbing their hands in glee Monday at the news reports from the Greens which amounted to nothing but a series of unfair, highly public insults and name-calling directed at Helen Clark.

Labour insiders say the Greens' target is to collapse the Maori Party's party vote. I fear, however, that if there is one thing that will sink the chances of a third term progressive government, it is that right wing parties will use the dishonest name-calling to build a public perception that the next progressive coalition will be unstable, divided and beholden to green-behind-the-ears amateurs that you couldn't trust to run the corner dairy.


The real progressive work this week The real work this week was about further developing the quality of the goods and services that come out our land-based industries. The Progressive leader co-chaired the inaugural meeting of the Food and Beverages Taskforce in Wellington before heading to talk forestry investment in Gisborne. The real task for working people this week was also about getting alongside communities to, in partnership, win this battle against alcohol and drug abuse.

Last night Jim chaired a public forum on alcohol and other drugs in Gisborne while this morning he is meeting with Community Action on Youth and Drugs (CAYAD) co-ordinators. Progressive secured coalition Budget funding for 15 new CAYAD projects around the country to help communities win the war against drugs. Food and Beverage Taskforce
CAYAD and action on drugs:


This week's other key news stories are at


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