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Labour heats up left overs and promises hot air

Published: Wed 15 Oct 2008 10:21 AM
Labour heats up the left overs and promises hot air
Labour's sustainable infrastructure announcement is a disappointing mixture of already-announced initiatives and promises so vague they have no real meaning, the Green Party says.
"Retrofitting state homes is a top priority for the Green Party. So important, in fact, that we secured the over $50 million to insulate all state homes in last year's budget. On top of that, the Greens negotiated a $1 billion dollar Green Homes Fund to retrofit remaining substandard houses as part of our support for the Emissions Trading Scheme. For Labour to come out now and announce this as new policy is just not credible," Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.
"The commitment to extending electric rail in Auckland is vague, and, given that the initial electrification programme was already secured > after intense pressure from the Green Party and others, it is again very unclear whether there is anything more than warmed up leftovers on offer. Yes, we need better public transport, but it is very unclear whether Labour's commitment has any teeth at all," she says.
"The 90 percent renewable target for energy generation, once again already in legislation, has a big exemption, which will allow the building of more gas powered stations - on top of the many gas powered stations Labour has already built.
Co-Leader Russel Norman says, "Labour makes further vague claims to clean up rivers - this after overseeing a massive increase in pollution and after proposing a national policy statement on freshwater management that is so full of holes that you could driver a tanker-load of effluent through it.
"Support for local sewerage schemes has only been $10 million over the last three years. This is completely inadequate to address the problem.
"The Green Party is very disappointed that Labour has not seen fit to support the Green Party's call to lift the minimum wage to $15 an hour now, and to then link annual rises in the minimum wage to 66 percent of the average wage. Far too many workers are still on wages of $12 an hour or just over, barely enough to sustain an individual, much less a family, with today's rising food and energy prices. We call on Labour to urgently reconsider their position," Dr Norman says.
ends

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