Good speech here from David Cunliffe to the Manufacturers and Exporters Association last night. He and David Parker both spoke and I understand their message was very well received by the audience. He outlines the principles for a good budget, and then answers the question about what would Labour do. There is another one to Business New Zealand today. On the components of a good budget, Cunliffe says:
The key messages we want you to take away today are simple:
- A good Budget would have to rebuild and reorient our economy towards exports and sustainable high-value production and employment;
- A good Budget would rebuild savings and redirect investment to its most productive uses, not see it drain offshore or be wasted on property speculation;
- A good Budget would lift living standards for all New Zealanders and not just a few, and would provide some urgent relief to the acute cost of living pressures being felt by many;
- And a good Budget must reduce debt over the medium term to ensure that we are living within our fiscal means, which means being real about priorities and the need for everyone to pay their fair share…
And above all else, given the magnitude of the debt mountain in front of us and the depth of the rut our real economy is stuck in, now is the time for boldness, not tinkering. It is a time for fixing the structural problems, not slapping on a coat of paint or spin. It is a time for tough decisions, not lollies.
An on what Labour will do, after acknowledging the reality of the need for fiscal prudence, (such as demonstrated by Michael Cullen), he says:
Labour will build a strong export economy with more good jobs. It will do so with an aggressive programme of economic development, innovation and monetary reform that will unleash the potential of the real economy. My colleague David Parker will provide more on this shortly.
Labour will help all Kiwis to own their own future through increased savings and appropriate protection of strategic New Zealand assets.
Labour will not strip KiwiSaver but will build on it and broaden it into an even more effective vehicle to lift New Zealand’s crucial savings rate while providing every Kiwi family with the opportunity to secure their future.
Labour will stop the sale of state owned enterprises. We will prevent the indiscriminate sale of farmland of more than 5ha.
Labour will ensure the sustainability of New Zealand superannuation by resuming prefunding through contributions to the NZ Superannuation Fund.
And Labour will work to put owning your own home back within reach of average income-earners.
Labour will help all Kiwis to get ahead by lifting living standards, giving real relief from the rising cost of living, and introducing a fair tax plan.
Labour will carefully review key utility markets, including worrying signs of monopoly rents in electricity markets. We will review the Government’s misguided broadband plan and will repeal the ridiculous and globally unique 10-year regulatory holiday on broadband fibre.
Labour will bring down a fair tax package that will ensure a broad and sustainable tax base, and will contribute to aligning the economic incentives with New Zealand’s strategic economic needs. A good Budget would be fair to all – giving every New Zealander a fair go – the opportunity to do better, but also expecting everyone to play their part in the rebuilding of our battered economy.
That includes, frankly, paying a fair share of the tax burden rather than – for some – structuring businesses that do not show income, sheltering income in trusts, or pretending not to trade property after buying and selling a dozen rentals. Those folks have fair warning that we are all in this together and that they too will pay their fair share.
Labour will bring to the 2011 general election a responsible, fully-costed policy budget package.
Details to come obviously, but a good start nonetheless.