The Government's economic approach is becoming increasingly incoherent given its confusion over whether it's a 'hands-on' or 'hands-off' Government, the Green Party said today.
"John Key's defensiveness over whether it's a 'hands-on' or 'hands-off' Government shows his economic plan for New Zealand is incoherent and increasingly being set in reaction to smarter policy coming from the Opposition," said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
"The National Government has been slow to respond to the affordable housing crisis believing in the market, but now they are threatening active intervention in the face of market failure and after smart new housing policy from the Green Party that will directly address the housing crisis.
"Unfortunately, National's 'hands-on' plan to attack the housing consenting process will simply create more urban sprawl and do little to address a wider market failure to build affordable homes in the heart of Auckland.
"On jobs, Bill English has said that the private sector creates jobs, not the Government, yet he now seems to be admitting that the Government does have a role to create jobs in response to a market failure.
"National's intention to fund new apprenticeships is a hopeful sign that they now realise that the Government has a worthwhile role to play in creating jobs.
"On investment, National has been 'hands-off' preferring foreign investors to take the lead on major investment decisions, but is happy to be 'hands-on' when it comes to subsidising irrigation and mining, investing billions in non-productive motorway infrastructure, and relaxing gambling and labour laws for specific corporate interests.
"National is sending a clear market signal that lobbying Government is the best investment a big corporation or private interest can make. This is driving their ad-hoc approach to economic management," Dr Norman said.