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Just Another Neo-Liberal Failure

Press Release

MANA Vice President John Minto

2012 Budget

Just Another Neo-Liberal Failure

Wednesday 23rd May

“With 160,000 people unemployed, another 107,000 who can’t get enough work, half a million on less than $16 an hour, hundreds of thousands of kids and their families living in poverty while the 1% live high on the hog, we should be expecting big things from the budget” says MANA Vice President John Minto.

“But the government’s carefully managed zero-budget spin is a sad commentary that neo-liberal economics still holds sway over New Zealand’s economy. Sadder still is that Labour has no coherent alternative on offer and has muzzled David Cunliffe’s sensible criticism of the policies Labour still follows”.

“Mana can provide a human alternative which draws on sensible policies followed by other countries we like to compare ourselves with”.

“What should New Zealand be doing?

1. Put spending power in the hands of those on the lowest incomes by eliminating GST and replacing it with a financial transactions tax. The poorest 10% of New Zealanders spent 14% of their income on GST while the richest 10% spend just 5%. This would provide a huge stimulus to growth and get the economy moving. It would have the additional advantages of reducing speculation in the New Zealand dollar which would in turn reduce its value and bring in more income for our exports. (European Union countries like France and Germany are examining the FTT).

2. We should reverse National’s $2 billion of tax cuts to wealthy New Zealanders on high incomes. We would move immediately to the Australian highest tax rate of 45c (New Zealand is on 33c) and reduce tax altogether for the first $27,000 of earnings for everyone. (The Gillard government in Australia has just set this at A$18,000 which the exchange rate would bring close to Mana’s policy).

3. A proper capital gains tax (where all personal income irrespective of its source is taxed at the personal tax rate) and an inheritance tax would bring in further income. Even the US and UK have these taxes.

4. Starting a job creation programmes by building 20,000 state houses in the next two years. This would provide a huge stimulus to the economy as well as creating jobs and reducing unemployment. It should be done by a state agency and used as the opportunity to provide training in skills for the next generation of young New Zealanders. This policy should be seen as a social and economic investment rather than as an expense because the tenants will pay off these houses through state rentals.

These are common sense proposals rather than radical. A generation ago these would have been mainstream polices to build a decent New Zealand. We can’t go back to the past but we can bring forward the values of previous generations which the rich pricks want us to forget”.

ENDS


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