2 November 2008 Media Statement
Promoting and protecting Kiwi jobs during the international downturn
EMBARGOED TILL DELIVERY
Prime Minister Helen Clark today released more details of Labour’s comprehensive plan to promote and protect Kiwi jobs
during the international downturn.
“The New Zealand economy is clearly facing short term challenges caused by the global downturn. Labour has already taken
initiatives to underpin the stability of New Zealand’s financial system and provide security for New Zealanders. These
- introducing retail and wholesale deposit guarantee schemes to reinforce confidence in our financial system
- gaining agreement from banks to work with clients struggling to pay their mortgages and use their best endeavours to
support them staying in their homes.
“Labour has also announced that it will introduce an economic stimulus package in December to address the challenges New
Zealand currently faces.
“Labour knows that the best security for our families comes from steady employment. Our top priority is to sustain jobs
throughout New Zealand and build our country’s capacity for future growth.
“Labour will not stand by and see a return to the large scale unemployment experienced under the last National
“Today I am releasing more information on the direction and content of Labour’s economic stimulus plan.
“As I have been outlining for the past three weeks, Labour is prepared to invest in retraining and other forms of
transitional assistance for redundant workers, ease the burden of provisional tax for businesses, and bring forward
investment in infrastructure and other job rich initiatives.
“Our plan can be activated in any region particularly affected by job losses.
“As well as investing in infrastructure and developments from road, rail, and public buildings to housing and
reafforestation, I am also announcing three new areas for development in the stimulus package.
- Labour will bring forward access to the $1 billion home energy efficiency fund so that schemes for retrofitting older
houses can be expanded to areas where higher unemployment emerges. This programme is labour-intensive, and people can be
trained to work in it within a relatively short time.
- Labour will provide an enhanced Financial Assistance Rate of funding for regions in need of additional economic
stimulus to allow local authorities to bring forward projects such as road maintenance and providing dedicated road
space for public transport or other extended passenger transport services.
- Labour will bring forward its planned investment in the roll out of superfast broadband in regions in need of support
from the economic stimulus package. Rolling out this infrastructure creates jobs.
“Further details on the overall shape of Labour’s economic stimulus package are available in the policy document I am
releasing today,” Helen Clark said.