Written By: Mike Smith - Date published: 9:51 pm, August 16th, 2012 - 31 comments
Categories: capital gains, david cunliffe, david parker, Economy, exports, jobs, minimum wage, monetary policy, superannuation, wages - Tags:
Fresh ideas to grow a stronger manufacturing sector, on top of the major changes Labour has already signalled, such as capital gains tax, r & d credits, universal kiwisaver, increase to the minimum wage, honesty about superannuation and a willingness to change fixed ideas about monetary policy to ease pressure on exporters featured in a speech given today by David Parker to a union audience in Wellington.
I was there to hear it along with organisers and delegates. David Cunliffe and Andrew Little were there as well. You can read the speech here. Vernon Small summarised it thus:
Labour is eyeing a raft of new economic policies including tax breaks and incentives for exporters, extra spending on infrastructure in depressed areas of the country and ways to lower the barriers to capital raising for small businesses. In a speech to unionists this morning finance spokesman David Parker said Labour was looking at ”pulling levers big and small” to help boost economic growth and jobs, especially in manufacturing.
Parker said the policy challenge for Labour was how to get more people into good middle income jobs.
He said the ideas were not policy, and he was only ”floating” them at this stage, but they would come on top of Labour’s other macro-economic policies which include a capital gains tax, research and development tax credits, a long term move to a higher state pension age, and changes to monetary policy.
He said Labour was looking at further moves on monetary policy, but was not backing away from its 2011 policy in the area. Any new measures would go ”at least as far” as its 2011 policy. Labour rejected National’s ”hands-off, leave-it-to-the-market strategy”.”I want an economy which delivers social well-being and maintains New Zealand’s control of our own destiny. Redistribution through the income tax system is important but is not enough to deliver fairness, nor lift our productivity to change our economic destiny.” A productivity breakthrough was needed and that required a stronger manufacturing sector.
David Cunliffe has just come back from a trip to Denmark, a country that could teach us a lot about how to diversify and build high paying jobs in sustainable manufacturing industries. David Parker is off shortly to the US to discuss among other things alternative approaches to monetary policy.
It was good to see Labour getting on to the front foot. It looks like there will be a real economic alternative on offer through to the next election.
The other good thing about the event was the debate and discussion afterwards. It looks like the policy formation will be open and the key players receptive to good ideas.