Green Economic Policy
19 October 2008
Green Economic Policy
The Green Party's Economic Policy - launched today by Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons - includes new measures of economic success, lowering income taxes and instead taxing pollution and waste, and allowing only citizens and residents to buy New Zealand land.
"A Green economy will see New Zealand measure and manage our natural resources better, and ensure that our clean, green reputation becomes real and can sustain us through the challenges we are facing. New Zealand will become known for smart business, good education and meaningful work offering well paid jobs. We will take more control over our own economic destiny, while trading fairly with the rest of the world," Ms Fitzsimons says.
"The Green Party will reform the tax system so everyone pays less income tax, clean businesses are rewarded and wasters and polluters pay more. The first $10,000 of income will be tax free from 2011, giving every tax payer around $20 a week more than Labour's 2011 tax proposals.
"The revenue will be partly replaced by levies on commercial water use and by a capital gains tax on all investments except the family home; and by a range of levies on scarce resources, waste and pollution, to be determined by an Ecological Tax Reform Commission," Ms Fitzsimons says.
"The Green Party recognises that inflation is being driven by shortages and high prices of key resources such as oil, gas, food, water, and fish stocks. Management of inflation requires better management of resources, not just the Reserve Bank's setting of interest rates.
"A number of Green policies will assist in managing our exposure to the current financial downturn:
More state housing investment to employ spare capacity in the construction industry and to keep jobs in the timber and other supplier industries
1 Investment in insulating and upgrading homes to improve health and reduce power bills
2 Investing in building better public transport systems rather than in new unneeded motorways
3 Upgrading the rail system so that it can carry more freight and - when oil prices rise again - passengers
4 Requiring the NZ Superannuation Fund to invest more of its funds in New Zealand, but to provide capital for NZ business, not to build roads which will not yield a return
5 A Government commitment to local purchasing of NZ goods and services, to support NZ businesses and jobs * Conditions around the deposit guarantee that ensures we do not encourage irresponsible lending in the future
These programmes will keep people in work, support businesses that are struggling, and leave us with essential assets to reduce costs in the future.
"The Greens will also develop, alongside GDP, a measure of real national achievement and wellbeing that includes the state of our natural resources and positive activities such as voluntary work; and deducts negatives such as smoking and drinking related health costs, car accidents and pollution clean ups."
* A summary of the policy is available at: http://www.greens.org.nz/policy/summary/tax_and_monetary