“Govt stimulus creates 2300 jobs” reads the headline! It’s a bit misleading though. A more accurate headline would have been – “Labour Govt stimulus creates 2300 jobs”. How’s that, I hear you cry? Follow the money:
The Government estimates its economic stimulus package has created about 2300 jobs through increased infrastructure spending of more than $500 million. Last February the Government announced it was increasing or bringing forward planned spending on housing, roading and education infrastructure.
These jobs are attributed to National “increasing or bringing forward planned spending”, or in other words tinkering with the infrastructure plan of the last Labour government. Well at least National increased spending? They’d certainly like you to think so, but thanks to some real reporting by Tim Watkin we know otherwise:
The truth about National’s so-called stimulus: not a penny more
Pundit has finally received answers from Bill English’s office about the government’s stimulus package. Contrary to the spin, the government is re-announcing already promised money, it has not added a cent to its spending since December, and while the rest of the world ups the ante, New Zealand is sitting on its hands
Last December the government confirmed that its new spending combined with Labour’s already committed spending would total $9b over the next three years. Every spending announcement since the business tax reform, the new bridges and schools hasn’t been about new money, it’s merely been telling us how that $9b would be spent. While the economy tanks and the rest of the world commits hundreds of billions in new spending, New Zealand hasn’t changed its fiscal plans one iota.
The tragedy is that 2,300 jobs, however they were created, are just a drop in the bucket. There are almost 60,000 on the dole, and as Marty recently pointed out there are many more without work or enough work. National has done nothing about this rising tide (except hold a useless talkfest “Jobs Summit” of course).
Had Labour won the election the existing infrastructure programme would have been extended. Facts were easily lost in the hurly burly of the election campaign, but the fact was that unlike National, Labour had a real plan:
Key’s … speech at National’s campaign opening in Auckland’s SkyCity Convention Centre said nothing new on economic policy. In fact, it said nothing new about anything. … Helen Clark trumped Key by delivering the recovery package he had been demanding, including contingency plans to save jobs and the promise of a mini-budget in December.
Instead of 2,300 – how many new jobs would we be celebrating today if Labour had been able to put this plan in place?