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Alliance wants ‘jobs fund’

The Alliance will establish an Economic Development Fund to fund job-rich new developments in both the private and the public sector, Alliance leader Jim Anderton told an Employers Federation conference in Christchurch today.

“Moving away from our present dependence on exports of crude commodities gives us the best hope of reaching and maintaining full employment.

“We have to stop trying to compete with the lowest common denominator in the world economy. The fact is that we cannot compete on price with countries that use slave labour except by using slave labour ourselves. We cannot compete on price with countries that are destroying their environments and threatening the world's climates unless we do the same only faster. We cannot compete on price with countries which deny the rights of workers and ordinary citizens unless we do the same.

“We should stop trying to do it on the cheap. We must instead try to do it better than anyone else,” Jim Anderton said.

He gave the Scottish and Irish Development Agencies as successful examples which an economic development fund would be modelled on.

Examples of ideas for new work opportunities going to waste for lack of assistance, expertise or finance included:

NEW technology manufacturing;

TOURISM development;

ADDED value industries associated with horticulture, agriculture, fishing, forestry;

IMPROVED social service infrastructure - roads, public transport, schools, hospitals, housing and skills training to improve the level of technical ability in the New Zealand workforce.

Details of the way the Economic Development Fund would work and case studies of international comparisons will be released in the Alliance economic development policy, due for release next month.


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