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Progressive Party bids do well in Budget 2007

Hon Jim Anderton
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Fisheries
Associate Minister of Health

Progressive Party bids do well in Budget 2007

In the House today Leader of the Progressive Party Jim Anderton congratulated Finance Minister Dr Michael Cullen on the 2007 Budget, saying he was proud to be associated with it as the Government's coalition partner.

"I am proud of the initiatives this Budget is taking in my portfolio areas, in the primary sectors that form the backbone of our economy, and those protecting the vulnerable, particularly our young people, from suicide and drug abuse," Jim Anderton said.

The Budget invests $80 million in export market development assistance and it cuts the company tax rate. "The Progressive Party launched a campaign in November 2004 calling for the business tax rate to be cut from 33 percent to 30 percent. Describing the Progressives as 'one of the most Left-leaning parties in Parliament', one journalist wrote at the time that "hardened journalists in the press gallery and long-time opponents of Anderton needed a cup of milky tea and a lie-down". Times have changed. And I'm delighted to see that idea come to fruition."

Jim Anderton took the occasion to castigate the Opposition as representing 'selfishness' and 'government for privilege'. "Every serious problem this Budget fixes is a problem the Opposition would ignore.

"I am proud because this Budget completes the decisive turn away from the disastrous policies of the eighties and nineties to which the National Party Opposition would drag us back. And everyone who is arguing now for the top personal tax rate to be cut as well is actually arguing for less capital in our businesses. How will that help to grow New Zealand's economy?

"This Labour-Progressive Government is today making a further $3.4 billion capital investment in innovation. It gives our businesses the tools they need to compete effectively, and to make sure New Zealand becomes a much more attractive place to invest in new enterprises for the benefit of New Zealanders.

"Budget initiatives in my primary sector portfolios support the strongly pro-business approach of this Budget. We are investing in order to future-proof them from the challenges they face. In November we will be holding a summit for the primary industries to discuss those challenges; we will increase research and development in the primary sector; increase capability at the border; and fund initiatives to protect rural communities from adverse weather events and erosion.

"As the Leader of the Progressive Party and a senior member of this Government, I will continue working to give the primary industries the support they deserve. And I commend Dr Cullen for recognising their importance through the provision of funding in this years Budget," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

Progressive Party initiatives in Budget 2007
$10 million over the next four years to fund a Sustainable Land Management (Hill Country Erosion) Framework.

$2.3 million over the next four years to develop local capacity to respond to adverse climatic events and to assist with risk reduction and readiness issues.

$1 million each year for collaborative research with other countries on climate change.

$1 million has been made to fund a major summit for the primary industries on the subject of ‘Succeeding in a changing global economy’.

$37.4 million over the next four years, in recognition of the challenges faced by New Zealand's biosecurity border services.

$900,00 for the four years 2007/08 to 2010/11 to gather more detailed information on commercial fish catches in coastal waters.

$6 million over four years raising awareness of the risk of taking drugs.

$23 million over four years to support suicide prevention.

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