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Labour’s economic plan for a secure future

Labour’s economic plan for a secure future

Prime Minister Helen Clark today launched Labour's campaign for a fourth term with the release of an economic plan designed to lead New Zealand to strong growth and a secure future in difficult international conditions.

"Our world is experiencing the worst financial crisis since the 1930s. The Labour-led Government is committed to doing what is needed to keep the New Zealand banking system sound, and the economy on a growth path," Helen Clark said.

“To that end, the government has agreed to implement a deposit guarantee scheme which will provide New Zealand depositors with additional confidence.

"Central to our vision for a strong economy is a plan focusing on six critical drivers of economic growth. Labour will also bring forward significant infrastructure spending if necessary, in order to secure real jobs.

"The six drivers of growth include education and skills training, innovation, boosting our export trade, sustainability, infrastructure, and savings.

"Finance Minister Michael Cullen will release more detail of Labour's economic policy in the coming days. I will also release policy on new health and housing initiatives shortly.

"Today I am announcing new policy for education and skills training.

Over the next term, Labour will : Add another 1,000 places to the Modern Apprenticeship scheme each year, to reach 17,000 Modern Apprentices in training by 2011 Lift the target for the number of people in industry training to ten per cent of the work force, or approximately 230,000 people, by 2011 Introduce a new retraining allowance on the same basis as a student allowance, but with no spousal income test, for redundant workers who have been in the workforce at least five years Introduce another retraining allowance for those who have been in the workforce for ten years and wish to upgrade their skills or retrain in a new area

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Helen Clark also announced details of an additional stimulus package for investment in infrastructure, should economic conditions not improve.

“Given the privilege of re-election, Labour will move to prepare a formal economic statement for release in December, setting out the steps to be taken to reignite the economy.

"If necessary, Labour will bring forward infrastructure spending in areas like road and rail construction projects, local government sewerage treatment projects, school property investment, and back country catchments and afforestation.

"Together with the housing policy to be released shortly, these investments would be expected to be job-rich, and ensure New Zealand avoids a hard landing from the international crises.

"Just as the Labour-led Government has shown the leadership required to help New Zealand meet the challenges of global events such as terrorism and climate change, so it can be trusted to use its knowledge, skills and judgement to lead New Zealand effectively during the current international financial crisis," Helen Clark said.

ends

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