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Use infrastructure bank to bring forward investmnt

Use an infrastructure bank to bring forward infrastructure investment

Jim Anderton has been at the centre of both economic development and banking in New Zealand in this decade. He started Kiwibank and the Ministry of Economic Development.

The infrastructure bank is a centre piece of Progressive party plans to stimulate and protect the economy from global financial conditions. The party's economic policy is being released tomorrow.

Jim Anderton says an infrastructure bank would make investment more transparent and accountable, and it would allow private capital to brought in without having to privatise public projects.

"The global financial crisis is a crisis of confidence, where everyone is afraid to lend or invest their cash in case they don't get it back. An infrastructure bank could address this better.

"If you have some money put away you are probably wary of putting it in a finance company. A couple of dozen of them have just failed. But if you could put that money into infrastructure bonds to help build new roads, new energy sources and housing in New Zealand, you would put that money to work and you would have an acceptable degree of risk.

"Labour and National have both said they will speed up investment in infrastructure to keep the economy moving through this slow down. Increasing investment in infrastructure is good idea, but the big problem is making sure we don't return to Think Big investment, where we take on too much debt to pay for projects that aren't economic.

"Investing through an infrastructure bank will make sure projects are transparent, economic and accountable, and help develop a long term capital investment market in New Zealand."

The idea of an infrastructure bank is part of Senator Barack Obama's plans to stimulate the US economy.



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