Anderton Speech To Wigram Candidates Meeting
Hon Jim Anderton Progressive Leader
Wigram Candidates meeting
Our democracy is enriched by meet-the-candidates' events so can I first thank Olwyn Rudd for taking the time to organize this evening.
I'm Jim Anderton and, since 1984, I have had the special responsibility of representing first Sydenham, and more latterly Wigram, in Parliament.
I was motivated to enter national politics because I feared the policies of the then 1975-1984 National government were bankrupting our economy, while simultaneously dividing our society.
But as many of you will know, I wasn't a contented member of the Fourth Labour Government elected in 1984 either!
Labour's policies of selling-off the family silver overseas, family silver like the Post Office Savings Bank and Air New Zealand, together with some of their other policies that delivered high unemployment and widening gaps between the rich and the poor, saw me resign from Labour in 1989 and start the New Labour Party.
Since the 1990 election, I have stood and won my seat as a left wing candidate, with consistent policies, and have worked hard for Sydenham or Wigram as it's now called.
In 1999, I entered the Cabinet and have supported the Minority Coalition Government led by our Prime Minister, Helen Clark.
On September 17, I will again be asking for your support as a Progressive MP.
I am campaigning to again represent you in what I hope will be a third-term Helen Clark-led coalition government.
I'd like to outline some of the policies I hope to bring to the Cabinet table as leader of the Progressive Party in the next Labour-led coalition government:
Progressive wants to help modest-to-low income families get into their first home by allowing families to capitalise their Family Support payments up to $30,000 to close the home deposit gap;
We would like to prescriptions to be free for those under 18 years of age and those over 65;
Progressive wants to give more financial assistance to Seniors on fixed incomes with a $200 cash payment in winter to help pay heating costs and by raising the floor of National Super by 1 per cent over and above the normal annual inflation adjustment;
Progressive wants to financially reward young people that take up tertiary studies by paying-down the debt of graduates who use their skills working in New Zealand;
We are also committed to ensuring that everyone under the age of 20 years is in a job, training or in education – no exceptions.
We want to double apprenticeships by 2007;
My party is also committed to continuing its campaign inside of the coalition government to reduce the harm caused by the misuse of alcohol and other drugs.
We want stronger controls on TV liquor advertising and marketing and we also want to raise the minimum alcohol purchasing age to 20 years of age – that is the legal age you can walk into a licensed corner dairy and buy alcohol.
Progressive will also advocate within the next Labour-led coalition for a cut to the company tax rate to 30 per cent just like in Australia.
We advocate for this because we promote policies that will assist companies to invest more in research and development and to delivering better wages for their workers.
I hope to have as much success with these policies as we've had with Kiwibank, Four Weeks Annual Paid Leave, industry and regional development and all the rest since 1999.
But it is of course up to you the voters of Wigram, to whom I am appealing to for fist your Electorate Vote and secondly, for Your Party Vote!