Families helped by Labour's economic management
Labour Leader Helen Clark said today that the Labour government's strategy for transforming New Zealand's economy would help it to restore a decent level of funding to the public services battered by National over the last nine years.
Helen Clark will speak to health workers in Dunedin this afternoon following Michael Cullen's release in Wellington of Labour's economic policy.
"Labour will be a sound manager of the nation's economy. Unlike National and Act, we will not be promising billions of dollars of unaffordable tax cuts. We will instead invest in New Zealand's social infrastructure for the public good, repairing the damage inflicted by National.
"It is time for economic management to be geared towards taking the pressure off middle income families. It is time for change to a fairer nation offering security and opportunity.
"Labour will support Plunket and other community-based services to make sure that every New Zealand child enjoys the right to good health. Access to free health care for under sixes - a policy National never wanted and Act is pledged to overturn - will be guaranteed.
"Our hospitals will focus on patients, not profits and surgical waiting times will be reduced. That is my commitment to New Zealanders.
"Apart from the very highest of income earners, most New Zealand families have not benefited overall from National's ideologically-inspired tax cuts. Hard working families are under more pressure than they have been for many, many decades.
"Most families are worse off when they consider the burgeoning costs of sending their children on to tertiary study, or the added expense of health insurance due to the failing public health system, or the uncertainty of not knowing if there will be universal superannuation available to them in retirement.
"Education will be made more affordable under the Labour government. We will stabilise tertiary fees and then work with the institutions on bringing them down over time, while also tackling the growing burden of student debt.
"With Labour there will also be the security of a properly funded New Zealand Superannuation scheme. We will reverse National's cuts to superannuation and build up a surplus in the nation's superannuation account to cover the needs of the baby boomers in their retirement years.
"We will ensure that all New Zealanders, not just a few, can enjoy a decent standard of living under a new government with new priorities.
"It is critical that people understand that only a party list vote for Labour can change the government. A strong party list vote for Labour will make New Zealand First irrelevant and enable us to get on with the urgent task of rebuilding this country," Helen Clark said.