Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Alliance Tariff Policy Gets Thumbs Up

Policy announced by the Alliance yesterday to increase tariffs by 5% on all imported goods, (except those covered by the CER agreement with Australia), has received an unconditional thumbs up from many of New Zealand’s trade unions.

The policy is aimed specifically at tackling New Zealand’s current account deficit which, at 6.4% exceeds the IMF suggested maximum of 4% and which has ballooned alarmingly with a massive 50% increase in sales of imported vehicles since all tariffs were removed in last year’s budget.

“We have long advocated low to moderate tariff barriers as a way of encouraging local jobs and industries, particularly as a domestic base for export ventures,” New Zealand Trade Union Federation Secretary, Michael Gilchrist said today.

“But the balance of payments crisis adds real urgency to the situation.”

“Under the Alliance policy tariffs would still be low in those areas in which they remain at present - the maximum would be an average 20% in clothing and footwear, for example.

“What we have experienced recently is a brief import-led recovery caused by lower interest rates and the removal of tariffs,” Mr Gilchrist said.

“In terms of the national economy this is just under-funded spending. It will quickly worsen our overall position and that’s starting to become apparent already. A low, across-the-board tariff is certainly the best way of addressing this situation.

“A national economy is like any organism in a larger environment - it needs to maintain a semi-permeable membrane if it is to survive and grow as an entity. Where there are taxes there should be tariffs. At the moment that level of border regulation is way too low.

“We have no security against the changes that other countries may make in regulating their inflows and outflows, for example. What happens if, say, China devalues?

“The free market ideology is, of course, not about maintaining national economies. For example, if you think our GDP growth rate is poor then check out the growth in our Gross National Product. That’s the part that stays here and goes to creating jobs and assets in New Zealand. It runs at about 60% of GDP growth.

“The Alliance policy is probably too sensible to be legible to New Zealand’s small but powerful elite of wannabe global citizens. But it is a signpost which we will not always have the luxury of ignoring,” Mr Gilchrist concluded.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Political Donations Scandals

Even paranoids have real enemies. While there has been something delusionary about the way New Zealand First has been living in denial about its donations scandal, one can sympathise with its indignation about Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges being among its chief accusers. Given that the National Party is enmeshed in a donation scandal of its own that shares the same core features, it is a bit like Al Capone being accused of wrongdoing by Bonnie and Clyde. Unfortunately, the entire country seems to be living in denial about the existence of these sort of shenanigans... More>>

First Published on Werewolf here


UN Expert: NZ Housing Crisis Requires Bold Human Rights Response

This is a press statement from UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing at the end of her 10-day visit to New Zealand. The Government of New Zealand has recognized that the country is facing a housing crisis, said Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur ... More>>


Water Woes: Wellington Reflects National Problem

Water utilities right across the country face major challenges to upgrade and maintain their underground three waters network. Water New Zealand’s Technical Manager, Noel Roberts says Wellington’s waste water woes are not unique to the capital city... More>>


2020 And Beyond: National’s Economic Plan

National Leader Simon Bridges has today outlined National’s economic plan heading into election 2020. “National understands the economy and how it impacts on New Zealanders day to day lives... More>>


Abortion Legislation Committee: Abortion Bill Report Presented To The House

The Abortion Legislation Committee has presented its report on the Abortion Legislation Bill to the House. A copy of the report is available here. The bill seeks to have abortion services provided like other health services... More>>






InfoPages News Channels