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CTU, Anderton rewrite history books on Alliance

CTU and Anderton try to rewrite the history books on Alliance achievements

Alliance Party media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 1 October 2008

Alliance Party List candidate and Canterbury Convenor Quentin Findlay says that he is bemused by an attempt by the Council of Trade Unions and Jim Anderton's Progressive Party to 'airbrush' the Alliance Party from New Zealand's political history.

Recent pamphlets and announcements from both organisations had given credit to Jim Anderton's Progressive Party for Four Weeks Annual Leave, Kiwibank and Paid Parental Leave.

Mr Findlay says that while Paid Parental Leave was mentioned in the CTU pamphlet as being a policy achieved by minority parties in partnership with Labour, it did not mention the party responsible - the Alliance.

Even more startling, the Progressive Party has publicly awarded itself the full credit of these policies introduced during a 1999 - 2002 Government, when it did not exist.

Mr Anderton was leader of the Alliance during that period, and there were also 10 other Alliance MPs in the 1999 to 2002 parliament as well as 4 Alliance MPs in Cabinet, including Jim Anderton.

It was the Alliance that championed Kiwibank and Paid Parental Leave during its first and only term in office.

"Kiwibank and Paid Parental Leave were Alliance achievements forced through Parliament and later, Cabinet by 10 Alliance MPs sometimes in the face of opposition from the Labour Party, which only belatedly accepted them, such as Kiwibank."

The Alliance also gained a zero percent increase in tertiary fees for students, more money for beneficiaries, restored low rentals for state houses with Labour and helped draft the Employment Relations Act.

"These results were the achievements of Alliance MPs and the Alliance Party, which had developed and campaigned for these policies over a considerable period of time. They were not the achievements of one person, namely Jim Anderton or of the Progressive Party, which did not exist at the time."

In comparison, the Progressive Party's achievements since 2002 have been minimal, Mr Findlay says. The Progressive Party's voting record is largely the same as Labour's.

Progressive Party achievements over the past six years since 2002 could be counted on one hand, Mr Findlay says.

Mr Findlay noted that neither the CTU nor the Progressives had mentioned policies such as the Free Trade agreements that the Labour Progressive Government had promoted and which promised to destroy New Zealand's economic sovereignty and working conditions.

"Working people need to support the Alliance which has consistently fought for policies such as free education and health care, full employment, progressive taxes, economic democracy and fair trade."

Workers need to listen to their conscience and vote accordingly, he says.


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