David Parker got stuck in to the Nats’ lack of economic record last week. He has abundant material to work with of course, but he did a good job of it too:
Parker gives National’s economic policies a ‘fail’
Labour finance spokesman David Parker yesterday produced what he called a “road test” on National’s economic policies and gave it a”fail.” He argued that Labour had more substantial policy alternatives to National’s”micro interventions.”
Mr Parker said National had failed to close the wage gap with Australia; to create more jobs, to lift wages, to have 40 per cent of the NZ Super Fund invested in New Zealand, the reduce income equality, and to build a more prosperous and ambitious New Zealand.
“Instead of trying to complete its goal, this Government abandons them and creates new ones,” Mr Parker said. He said laundry lists are not strategy, citing Naitonal’s “120-point action plan;” 10-point better public services results target,” and the 11-point “Key commitments to you.”
Parker produced a 30 page report which is here (pdf). It is economically written, well presented, and well researched. It is packed full of quotes that damn National’s economic management out of their own mouths, with facts and figures, and with effective graphs. Everyone should read it.
But the report is not just a condemnation of National. It concludes with an outline of Labour’s alternative:
• Pro-growth tax reform.
• Changing tax incentives in the economy to promote growth in exports, with a capital gains tax and R&D tax credits.
• Growing our heartland, high-value manufacturing, processing
• A new vision for skills, education and training so that New Zealanders can take advantage of the job opportunities of a 21st century economy.
• Investing more in innovation and science.
• Modernising monetary policy. Labour remains totally committed to Reserve Bank independence, and the control of inflation.
• Saving more.
• Universal KiwiSaver.
• Tighter controls on foreign purchases of productive farm land and infrastructure.
• Prudent decisions about looming fiscal pressures, including age of eligibility for superannuation.
• Changing Gear – a new economy and a fairer society: labour.org.nz/news/changinggear
It will be good to see Labour put some flesh on those bones as the next election approaches. But for now, this was good work from David Parker.