Robson On Politics
Candidate selections continue apace
Progressive candidates have been announced in over
thirty electorates ahead of Election 2005. Local radio and
newspaper coverage is so far very fair and good with
candidates outlining the benefits of giving your party vote
to Progressive in September. Full details are at:
Our Invercargill candidate is an employment advisor who is very enthusiastic about our regional and economic development policies because he can see at the coalface that our policies are working. In Upper Hutt our candidate is an apprentice fitter and welder who knows that Progressive hasn’t been shy about tackling youth alcohol abuse. And in Whangarei we’ve got a keen sportswoman who has been an international ski instructor and more recently has been a health promotion co-ordinator.
Policy platform for 2005
Policies that Progressive will work for in the 2005-2008 Parliament include: doubling the number of apprentice-ships; having everyone under 20 in a job, education or training; and cutting the debt burden for graduates prepared to work and use their skills in NZ.
We are also championing policies to reduce youth binge-drinking and other drug abuse; policies to get low income families into their first homes and a financial boost for retired people struggling on fixed incomes.
Progressive also advocates a cut to the company tax rate to match Australia’s. We want to encourage more private sector investment in research and development and to entice still more job-creating companies, like Navman’s shareholder Brunswick Corp., to locate their export-businesses in New Zealand.
We haven’t had a Labour Government since 1990
The last Labour Government (1984-1990) is remembered for its incompetent strategic asset sales programme, including of Air NZ and PostBank. Labour told us that only the private sector could manage important things like retail banking and aviation companies.
It took our progressive coalition elected in 1999 to step-in and mop-up the mess of what had become of Air NZ. And it took this progressive coalition to re-establish a NZ-owned, nationwide banking service called Kiwibank which pays attention to New Zealand’s banking needs.
National-United-First and asset sales
As the election nears, I am sure there will be a lot more TV news coverage of United Future’s demand that any government it joins sign-up to its commitment to sell-off 40% of strategic assets including NZ Post, the owner of Kiwibank, the energy generation companies and Air NZ.
Under MMP, all governments are either coalition governments or minority governments with Confidence and Supply agreements with third parties, and United’s policy platform puts it four-square inside the National-NZ First camp.
Commentators are surely being mischievous to suggest that Labour, in 2005, would contemplate doing deals involving strategic national asset sales, un-targeted tax cuts which mainly benefit those that least need it and a new round of health and education services’ privatization.
Party Vote Progressive
Centre-Left parties won about 51% of votes cast in the 1999 and 2002 elections and the challenge in September is for a hat-trick.
A party vote for Progressive strengthens the chances of getting the type of coalition government that will continue to deliver to working families.
We want to be as successful with our graduate debt relief policy, our youth alcohol harm reduction policy and our housing policy as we have been with Four Weeks Annual Leave, Kiwibank and all the rest since 1999.
Teenagers heaviest drinkers - survey
Nearly 75 per cent of 18-19 year-olds breath-tested as they left on-licence premises were too drunk to drive, according to the first ever survey of young drinkers leaving on-licensed premises. The Exit Breath Survey 2005 provides useful data on issues around youth alcohol consumption trends. That will be of use to the Law and Order Select Committee considering my Sale of Liquor (Youth Alcohol Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill.