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2025 taskforce report a waste of space

Alliance Party says 2025 taskforce report a waste of space

Alliance Party media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday 30 November 2009

The Alliance Party has strongly criticized the 2025 Taskforce and the contents of their new report on New Zealand's economic future, key points of which has already appeared in media before its official release today, saying that it was so out of touch with reality that even Prime Minister John Key had distanced himself from it.

Alliance Party co leader Kay Murray says the proposals in the taskforce report would lead to "two New Zealands" of extreme wealth and poverty and would destroy the democratic nature of New Zealand society.

Even though the Taskforce's report had been largely condemned, it represented the thinking of an influential and self-interested group at the top level of the corporate world and bureaucracy in New Zealand.

Ms Murray says that the idea that wages would rise by cutting income taxes that pay for health, education and vital social services was a travesty.

"That's what these right wing policies have done so far – extending them further will create social breakdown and condemn a generation of young New Zealander's from less privileged backgrounds to second class citizenship."

Ms Murray says the make up of the taskforce "says it all."

"This is a group of people who are exactly those who stand to benefit from the policies they promote. Why was there no representative of working people, retired people, or young people?"

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Ms Murray says she was disappointed to see Icebreaker CEO Jeremy Moon as one of the names on the taskforce.

"Icebreaker claim to be in favour of sustainability and ethical manufacture, yet the ideas coming out of this are on the extreme fringe of free market capitalism, where social responsibility counts for nothing and profit comes before all else. There is nothing sustainable or ethical about what this taskforce is proposing."

The Alliance says the key goals for New Zealand should be an equitable sharing of wealth, a reduction in extremes of wealth and poverty, and a regulated economy where social goals came first, rather than as a trickle down from corporate profits.

Progressive taxation would ensure that the real incomes of low income people rose, as would a higher minimum wage. A capital gains tax would ensure that a home for all New Zealanders, not speculation, was driving housing.

A high level of public investment in infrastructure, education and health would raise all New Zealander's standard of living, not just the welfare of an elite.

Ms Murray says the Alliance had long advocated many of the goals outlined in the Council of Trade Union's recently released Alternative Economic Strategy.

"The only problem is that the Council of Trade Unions will be unable to achieve their goals while they are embedded with the Labour Party, which will humour the union movement while in opposition, then ignore them when back in power."

Ms Murray says that Labour leader Phil Goff's major political "achievements" were introducing user pays education in the 1980s and promoting free trade policies with regimes that included the military dictatorship in Burma, and now reinventing himself as a pale imitation of Don Brash.

She says the Council of Trade Unions needs to start supporting political movements that actually agreed with and supported their goals.

Ms Murray says the Alliance is the party that represents the egalitarian and democratic ideas that would make New Zealand a civilized and modern nation.


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