Fall in dairy prices reinforces need for Economic Upgrade

The overnight drop in milk prices combined with yesterday’s fall in commodity export prices reinforces the need for Labour’s Economic Upgrade, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“Even before this latest price drop, when our terms of trade were at a 40-year high, we still didn’t earn enough from our exports to pay for our imports and interest. National’s credibility on exports is in tatters.
“They promised to increase them to 40 per cent of GDP. Instead they’ve dropped since they took office to 29 per cent of GDP and are expected to drop further to 26 per cent.
“This is more proof of the need for Labour’s Economic Upgrade. This includes a capital gains tax, excluding the family home, to encourage investment away from property and into productive exports.
“Labour’s Economic Upgrade will boost investment, innovation and industry to turn New Zealand’s economy from one reliant on raw products to one that is high value, high tech and creates better jobs with higher wages,” says David Parker.

3 September 2014                                                           MEDIA STATEMENT


Voting opens and no fiscals from National

Voting in the election has opened today but National has still not released its fiscal plan for its next term and is keeping Kiwis in the dark, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“Many New Zealanders are already heading to the polls today to cast their vote – a great thing for democracy.
“However they will be in the dark about National’s spending plans for the next term. Labour has released its alternative budget and revised it following the pre-election fiscal update. Labour will be $1.169 billion in surplus in 2015/16.
“By contrast the pre-election fiscal update shows a smaller surplus for the National Government in the same year of 0.8 billion. The PREFU budget figure is likely to be further eroded by National’s announced spending plans they have not yet accounted for.
“Yet National’s campaign is so inept they still haven’t released their fiscal plan. They are yet to update their numbers, despite announcing several big spending promises.
“National hasn’t reacted to modern election practices. It’s time to be more open with New Zealanders,” says David Parker.

3 September 2014                                                           MEDIA STATEMENT


Commission of Inquiry must have bipartisan support

The Labour Party is drafting terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says.
“It is abundantly clear there is a need for an independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, into practices in Ministerial offices.
“That inquiry should go further than consideration of criminal conduct and should include:

.practices including third parties being given preferential access to official documents in order to advance political interests
.whether it was proper for taxpayer funded ministerial staff such as Jason Ede to access and orchestrate the use of information from the Labour Party computer system
.avoidance of the Official Information Act through the use of anonymous and dynamic (ie changing) computer and email addresses
.misuse of official information obtained by ministerial offices from government departments
.whether advice a Minister (including the Prime Minister) received from the Cabinet Office which was used to assert it had exonerated contentious ministerial conduct, should be able to be suppressed

“Democracy relies upon its reputation with the public. Public confidence is needed to maintain democratic institutions and the rule of law. This in turn rests upon transparency and freedom from corruption.
“The public must find out what has been going on inside the Beehive.
“To restore confidence in New Zealand’s political system, there should be cross party support for the terms of reference. I intend to circulate the draft terms of reference to all parties currently represented in parliament this afternoon,” David Parker says.

1 September 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT


Bill English was right the first time on tax cuts

Bill English was right the first time when he stifled John Key’s dangle of vague tax cut promises, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.
“Bill English said before the PREFU that tax cuts weren’t affordable and John Key seemed to accept that, albeit reluctantly.
“Now the PREFU has shown a downturn in growth and tax revenues. The forecast budget surplus under National is forecast to be $500 million a year lower. Tax cuts on the Government’s own figures are even less affordable.
“It’s hard to escape the view that this latest dance is because of the fallout from the stain on John Key’s reputation, caused by the involvement of his office and Judith Collins with Whale Oil. Mr Key is now trying to resurrect his campaign using vague promises of unspecified future tax cuts.
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Nats sold 500 rugby fields of land a day offshore

Under National over one million hectares of land has been approved for overseas sale – 16 times the size of Lake Taupō or the equivalent of five hundred rugby fields a day, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.

“According to the Overseas Investment Office’s records, 1,002,591 hectares of land (10,000 square km) has been approved for sale to wholly and partially controlled overseas interests since John Key took office.

“Half of these land sale approvals (497,842 ha) occurred since John Key promised a ‘crack down’ on the sale of sensitive land to overseas interests.

“We know now that this ‘crack down’ was nothing but a crock. At the same time Bill English was sending a tricky side letter to the OIO defining ‘large’ farms as ten times the size of an average farm, a definition so big as to be meaningless.
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Joyce’s dodgy sums fool no-one

Steven Joyce’s attempt to attack Labour’s positive plan for affordable healthcare will fool no-one.
“We knew that National would try to say that we can’t afford free GP visits and prescriptions for the New Zealanders who need it. But, as David Cunliffe said in his speech today:
‘It’s budgeted, it’s paid for, it’s there in black and white. So when our opponents try to claim that we can’t afford better healthcare for New Zealanders – and they’ll try – they won’t be being honest with the public.’
Mr Joyce has tried every trick in the book in his shoddy attack.
First off, he ignores the fact that National allocated $15 billion of new spending over the next four years in Budget 2014. The difference between Labour and National is we’ve said how much we’ll allocate and how much we will use to reduce debt – National hasn’t.
Mr Joyce has counted over two billion dollars in tax cuts as spending.
Mr Joyce failed to count the half a billion dollars in savings we’ll realise by cancelling bad National policies.
Mr Joyce failed to count the $4 billion in extra revenue.
Mr Joyce’s claims are riddled with what are either amateurish mistakes or intentional errors intended to mislead.
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National’s meaningless farm sales criteria

While John Key claimed to be tightening up overseas farm sales Bill English was quietly defining ‘large farms’ that would be subject to overseas investment restrictions as being ten times the size of an average farm, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.
“Bill English issued a new ministerial directive to the OIO in December 2010 telling it to consider ‘large farms’, to be at least ten times the size of an average farm.
“This directive was issued at the same time National pretended it was tightening up the criteria for overseas sales of farmland.
“That was weasel wording. Those are massive farms and any New Zealander would agree.
“No sale of rural farm land has been stopped under the new directive. Not a single farm. That’s because the criteria, including redefining the term ‘large’, was so loose as to be meaningless.
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