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Mood world wide turns to productive investment

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Finance

21 October 2008 Media Statement
Mood world wide turns to productive investment

Finance Minister Dr Michael Cullen today said that Labour's economic stimulus package would deliver jobs for kiwis at a time when the country needs it most, and that New Zealand was not alone in planning such measures.

"All over the world governments have moved from shoring up their financial sectors, which is the first step, to announcements that they will boost their construction industries, bring forward infrastructure developments and work towards economic stimulus measures as a way to boost jobs during a time of economic slowdown,"Dr Cullen said.

Dr Cullen said that strong leadership was required to ensure that the financial crisis offshore did not lead to depression in New Zealand.

"Labour is simply not prepared to let that happen. As we have outlined, we will bring forward spending on infrastructure to create real jobs and build the potential for future growth in New Zealand. Now is not the time to slash spending as our opponents are proposing," Dr Cullen said.

Labour is focused on productive investment and job creation not just consumption and has released a list of prospective projects that would be brought forward. They include rail and roading improvements, local government sewerage and water projects, afforestation for conservation purposes, retrofitting and upgrading state houses, and building schools and early childhood centres.

"We are also focused on retraining and up-skilling workers, which is even more important as the labour market loosens," Dr Cullen said.

"The National Party, on the other hand, seams to think that giving a $500 a week tax cut to someone earning one and a half million dollars a year is the way through, while they are slashing vital Research and Development tax credits and savaging KiwiSaver to pay for it.


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