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Time for sustainable infrastructure, not tax cuts

13 October 2008

Time for sustainable infrastructure, not tax cuts

The Green Party is calling for spending on sustainable infrastructure to be brought forward in response to the global financial crisis - but is opposed to further dead-end spending on new motorways.

"Supporting the domestic economy by investing in infrastructure rather than tax cuts makes sense. Infrastructure spending leaves a legacy and supports the economy in a time of uncertainty," Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman says. "However, it is essential that spending is for sustainable infrastructure - or we will get caught up once again in the 'growth for its own sake' mentality.

"Large numbers of tradespeople are out of work as home building shrinks. At the same time we have a shortage of affordable housing, especially in Auckland. This is the time to use our qualified tradespeople and construction resources to build more state houses inside the urban limits, integrated with good public transport solutions and with good urban design," Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"Public transport reduces greenhouse emissions, reduces congestion, and cleans up the air in our cities. New motorways do exactly the opposite - by increasing traffic they increase emissions and make us more dependent on costly imported oil," Dr Norman says.

"This is the time to invest in decent public transport - but not new motorway spending. We need to start on the Britomart tunnel in Auckland to greatly increase the number of passenger trips that can be carried on rail.

"We need to fix up our dilapidated rail system so it can carry more freight and eventually people and take pressure off our roads"

"Labour and National's very expensive tax cuts will make a minor impact on supporting the domestic economy - it will be limited because a lot of the tax cuts will be spent on imports or saved.

"On the other hand careful borrowing to provide people with homes and sustainable transport is justified even in the current economic situation," the Co-Leaders say.


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