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Labour Just Isn't Fair

Tuesday 23 November 1999


Fairness is at the heart of good Government policy and is one of the four fundamental values that National outlined at the beginning of the election campaign, Prime Minister Jenny Shipley said tonight following a television leaders' debate.

"We believe in supporting the families who are working hard to help themselves," Mrs Shipley said.

"Fairness is why 50,000 working families pay no income tax at all. A family with three children pays no net income tax until they earn nearly $31,000.

"Fairness is why we subsidise the rents of 319,000 New Zealand families, giving them the ability to find the house they need regardless of whether it is owned by the State or privately.

"By contrast, the Labour-Alliance policy would spend more money, achieve worse outcomes, and be less fair.

· Low-income New Zealanders who don't happen to live in a State house would miss out on cheaper housing. Why is it fair for people on low incomes to pay tax for housing policies that discriminate against them? · Young people studying trades or investing in their own businesses would miss out on Labour's interest-free tertiary loans. Why is it fair for their taxes to pay for even bigger subsidies to the people who will eventually earn the highest incomes? · Workers who don't want to join a union would miss out on a collective contract. Why is it fair to hand power in the workplace to an elitist clique of trade unionists in a way that will reduce wealth, jobs and wages? · Labour would scrap the surgical booking system. Why is it fair to give you surgery based on when you got in the queue, not based on how badly you need the operation? · Why is it fair for struggling families to go without tax cuts in order to pay for Labour's 400 or so new committees, task forces, reviews, boards and bureaucracies? · Why is it fair on the entrepreneurs and the risk-takers ? the ones who are creating jobs and opportunities in this country ? to reward their success with higher taxes? · Why is it fair on any of us to have our incomes and this country's potential stolen by inferior policies and higher taxes?

"National has given ordinary hard-working families a bigger share through lower taxes and child tax credits.

"These low and middle-income families would have no prospect of improving their incomes under Labour.

"It's not fair and National stands against it.

"We don't give in to the critics on the Right who say we should be spending less on social policy. Good policy can make society fairer. Good policy can even out opportunity. Good policy can help people with problems that aren?t their fault.

"But nor do we agree with the critics on the Left who think that the only way to measure your heart is by how much money you steal from other people's wallets.

"We believe in spending your money carefully ? on things that make society better ? and spending it fairly," Mrs Shipley said.


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