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A strong, caring economy

Hon Jim Anderton


Progressive Party leader

5 November 2008 Media Statement


A strong, caring economy

A pre-Christmas cash payment to the most vulnerable households and an investment bank to make infrastructure investment more transparent and accountable are the highlights of Progressive Party economic policy.

Progressive leader Jim Anderton says the current global financial conditions make it vital to care for the most vulnerable and to take the opportunity to strengthen New Zealand.

"A pre-Christmas cash payment for beneficiaries and superannuitants is affordable. It would provide relief for the New Zealanders most likely to need a helping hand as the global situation plays out. It would provide an immediate stimulus to keep the economy out of recession because those who have the least are most likely to spend the entire payment.

"A payment of around $100 to 500,000 households would cost around $50 million. That is an affordable sum for a one-off stimulus. A lump sum payment is very progressive because it provides the greatest proportional help to those who need it most."

An infrastructure bank is a centre piece of Progressive party plans to stimulate and protect the economy from global financial conditions.

Jim Anderton says an infrastructure bank would make investment more transparent and accountable, and it would allow private capital to be 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.

"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 a 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 President-elect's Barack Obama's plans to stimulate the US economy.

The full policy is available: http://www.progressive.org.nz/default.aspx?page=235&news=177


ENDS

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