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National has nothing to say about top issues

Hon Jim Anderton

Member of Parliament for Wigram

Progressive Leader

29 January 2008 Media Statement

National has nothing to say about top issues facing New Zealand

What’s good in John Key’s speech isn’t new, and what’s new isn’t good, Progressive leader Jim Anderton says.

“Mr Key had nothing at all to say about lifting productivity in New Zealand and nothing about a middle class tax cut. He had nothing to say about home affordability and nothing to reduce the student debt burden.

“I welcome John Key’s commitment to having all 18 year olds in education, training or work. When I advocated getting everyone under 20 into jobs, education or training National claimed the policy was unrealistic. Now John Key is actually talking about reducing the government commitment for 18 and 19 year olds, not increasing it for under-18s. His proposal for under-18s will not reduce the student debt burden for anyone.

There has been a 96 percent reduction since 2002 in the number of 18 and 19 year olds on Unemployment Benefit for more than 13 weeks. The number of 18 and 19 year olds on an Unemployment Benefit for longer than 13 weeks in December 2007 is fewer than 250.

“National has opposed every policy that has helped move young people off the dole.”

Jim Anderton says John Key has some explaining to do about his criticisms of the government.

“Is Mr Key going to give an iron pledge that interest rates would come down under National? He can’t, because National is advocating much more profligate spending and he supports the Reserve Bank Act. Under National, interest rates will go up, possibly up to $50 a week on a $200,000 mortgage.

“The price of a National-led government would be very high for most New Zealand households.”


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