Own Our Future | Jobs

Labour has announced Labour’s plan to get Kiwis into jobs.

Under National, unemployment has remained far too high for far too long. Two years after the global financial crisis there are still 157,000 Kiwis out of work.

That’s because National has not made jobs a priority. It has stood on the sidelines and let events take their course.

This inaction is soul destroying for those involved, and cost New Zealand $1 billion in unemployment benefits in 2010/11 alone.

It’s not good enough. A great deal more can be done and should be done to get the economy moving again and people into work. Labour will do a lot more than host a ‘talkfest jobs summit’, and over promise on gimmicks like the cycleway, which created only 500 jobs – not all of them full time.

Labour’s six-point plan for jobs:

• A savings scheme that will provide new investment for New Zealand businesses;

• Support innovation to develop new products to sell to the rest of the world;

• Change monetary policy to support exporters against a volatile New Zealand dollar;

• Help unemployed youth into training and apprenticeships;

• Stimulate the economy by putting money into the pockets of those who need it;

• Making Kiwi jobs a consideration when issuing government contracts.

Labour agrees wholeheartedly with New Zealand Chambers of Commerce spokesman Michael Barnett when he said that the ‘next government must work harder to develop a skilled and responsive workforce’.

Mr Barnett said a ‘whole of government and New Zealand Inc’ approach was needed to encourage skills and talent in the right areas to boost economic growth.

Our six-point plan goes right across government and works closely with industry to do just that.

The plan incorporates initiatives including fixing the tax system to encourage investment in business rather than housing, increasing domestic savings to invest in Kiwi companies, changing monetary policy to smooth fluctuations in the dollar, using dole payments to subsidise employers to take on 9000 new apprentices, introducing an R&D tax credit to boost high tech jobs, and lifting the minimum wage so people have more money to spend, which creates jobs.

Each of these initiatives will play their part in kick-starting the economy.

New Zealand can’t afford three more years of the same narrow, hands-off economic management that National is offering. We need more than drift.

The only way to create jobs is to get the economy going again. Labour’s plan does this. National’s plan to sell assets won’t create a single job.

Jobs plan

It’s time to get active