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Overcoming oil addiction to ease interest rates

Overcoming oil addiction essential to easing interest rate pressures

Green Media Release 7th December 2006

Cheaper oil has given New Zealand a temporary interest rate reprieve but we need to invest in alternatives to our oil addiction if we want to futureproof our economy against future oil price rises and hence interest rates rises, says the Green Party.

“The decision by the Reserve Bank to hold interest rates steady is largely attributable to the drop in oil prices over the last few months, but they will not stay low in the long term,” says Russel Norman, Green Co-Leader.

“Our addiction to imported oil results a permanent inflationary risk to the New Zealand economy, and a permanent risk to blowing out our record trade deficit and current account deficit,” according to Dr.Norman, also the Greens’ Economics Spokesperson.

“In the long term oil prices can only increase and hence we need to make investments now to reduce our oil dependence in the future.

“Our woeful public transport leaves people dependent on oil-driven private cars. We need to invest massively and rapidly in decent, affordable, reliable, clean, regular public transport so that people have a real alternative to taking the car.

“Electrifying and extending the Auckland rail system is a particularly urgent public transport infrastructure investment.

“We also need investments in alternatives to road freight such as rail freight and coastal shipping.

“Sweden has committed to going oil free by 2020 so why can’t we?

“To put downward pressure on interest rates, greenhouse emissions, the trade deficit, and the current account deficit we should be breaking our oil addiction as fast as possible.”


ENDS

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