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Debt must fund sustainable future and jobs

18 December 2008

Debt must fund sustainable future and jobs

The Greens are calling on the Government to make sure that their spending program over the next few years is one that actually improves the sustainability of the New Zealand economy and creates jobs in New Zealand.

Treasury released revised forecasts today showing levels of Government debt will increase from 19% of GDP to 33% of GDP in 2013.

"If we're going to borrow from the kids, then we have a responsibility to ensure that the investments are sustainable. We don't want to lumber our children with a massive national debt without having sustainable infrastructure to show for it." Co-Leader Russel Norman said in response.

"We need to be careful of borrowing solely to fund consumption that will not produce any jobs here in New Zealand because many consumer goods are simply imported from overseas. Big tax cuts won't produce many jobs here."

"It is much better that we build sustainable infrastructure with high New Zealand content. To begin with, state housing has high amounts of New Zealand content and hence will generate lots of jobs in New Zealand."

Treasury have forecast unemployment to rise to 6.4% in 2010-levels not seen unless you go back to when National was last in Government.

"It's also better to invest in climate friendly public transport and rail freight rather than the roads this current government is proposing. New roads won't solve our congestion problems and they'll compound our growing liability under Kyoto, likely to add another $1 billion to our already ballooning debt levels."

"Finally, we should invest in infrastructure like home insulation that has high New Zealand content, is job rich, and can get started quickly. For every dollar spent on insulating a cold house, there's close to a two dollar benefit in energy and health savings alone, and these benefits will multiply themselves through our economy at a time we most need it."


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