Yesterday, we got official confirmation that the gap between the rich and everyone else is wider than ever. The top 10% of households have seen their incomes rise while virtually everyone else has gone backwards. It’s the most vulnerable in our community who are the hardest hit. For example the number of children living in hardship rising from 15% to 21%. This is a bloody disgrace and leaves John Key’s promise of a brighter future in tatters. As David Parker told a large audience in Auckland recently, Labour will build a new economy that shares the gains fairly.
Nowhere does hardship and inequality have more of a profound impact than in education. We need to give all our kids the best start in life and that includes a great education. National can’t fix the problem because they are part of the problem.
Over the coming weeks and months we will be setting out new ideas to ensure every child has nothing less than the best education. We are keen to get feedback from you on those ideas.
This week, we faced the loss of another three young Kiwis serving in Afghanistan. Losing five of our brave soldiers in just two weeks is difficult to bear. We have expressed our sincere condolences to their families and friends.
Labour is calling on the Government set a clear exit date for our troops. The Government first said they’d come home in 2014, then late 2013 and now possibly April 2013. New Zealanders need certainty about when our troops will come home.
We believe our troops should be withdrawn as soon as practicable with an orderly handover to the Afghan National Police. We have done our best over nine years but without a government in Afghanistan that can win the support of its own people, we cannot win the war there.
We look forward to continuing to engage with you on these issues, the work we are doing in Parliament and around the country.
NEWS IN BRIEF
We’ve had a real stoush with the Government over the future of KiwiRail. Rail is a vital part of the new, sustainable economy NZ needs, yet National’s obsession with building new motorways is seeing them downgrade our rail network. Labour’s Phil Twyford obtained a leaked report showing how National intends to run the company into the ground, by sacking 181 workers and cutting $200m from maintenance. National and KiwiRail responded by spending taxpayers’ money on gagging the media from reporting this through a court injunction. Late this afternoon, they abandoned their court action and released the document under pressure from Labour. This is just another example of National’s bullying tactics against anyone who holds them to account. This is your rail company, you deserve to know what’s going on.
David Parker has released a new Economic Road Test detailing National’s long list of broken economic promises, from increasing exports to closing the wage gap with Australia. It also sets out how Labour is developing bold new ideas to grow our economy, create better jobs and grow wages.