Thursday, June 2, 2011

7 Steps to Recovery

Step 1: Savings

You are taxed on income; and then you are taxed on the interest your savings earn.

With inflation running at, at least 5%, where can ordinary people save with security and still get a reasonable rate of return?

The answer is nowhere!

New Zealand First will introduce:

A bold set of tax incentives to encourage private savings - the first $10,000 of interest earned would become tax free.

We will introduce government guaranteed inflation proof bonds - eligible to New Zealand citizens resident in New Zealand only - and that will pay the inflation rate (measured by the CPI) plus 2.5%

Step 2: Saving our Land

New Zealand First will impose strict restrictions on foreign land ownership.

This is not xenophobic - it's the same restrictions that Kiwis face if they want to buy land in many other countries.

Only New Zealand citizens will be able to buy land and that land already owned offshore can only be sold back to a New Zealand citizen.

Step 3 Foreign Ownership

We will also create a new agency The NZ Ownership Agency- with an initial budget of $500m.

This agency will have a specific mandate to promote New Zealand ownership - and would develop a comprehensive long term plan to buy back strategic assets.

Step 4 Manufacturing

We will have policies to actively support, encourage and where appropriate protect this sector.

There are too many jobs, skills and wealth creation at stake in manufacturing to allow the sector to wither and die.

For example, we will protect government sector contracts such as the building of railway wagons for our own rather than Chinese railway workshops.

Step 5: Student Debt

We will introduce a scheme where government will make a matching dollar for dollar payment on student debt.

So, if a student had a student loan of say $30,000 - (a not unlikely sum) and paid back, $15,000 government would match that sum to extinguish the debt provided that student stays and works in New Zealand.

A matching contribution scheme would effectively halve student debt and remove a big incentive for young Kiwis to go overseas.

Step 6: Aussie Banks

They have had a dream run in New Zealand.

And recall that is was those same four Aussie banks who had to repay $2 billion to the IRD for tax avoidance in late 2009.

As KiwiBank and TSB show we are perfectly capable of operating our own banks.

New Zealand First policy is to give all Government business to a locally owned bank.

Step 7: Infrastructure

There can be no clearer example of a wasteful approach to public investments than the Government's so called Roads of National Significance (RoNS) project.

This $12 billion plus project is actually all about building more motorways.

New Zealand First policy is to scrap the RoNS project and free up massive financial resources for public transport in both metropolitan and provincial areas.

These policies will be developed further as the year progresses.

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