Stimulatory spending to help boost the economy can also help address climate change, the Green Party said today.
ANZ Chief Economist Cameron Bagrie yesterday called for central and local Governments to move to a more stimulatory fiscal stance.
“If the Government is smart, any new stimulatory spending to boost the economy can address climate change at the same time,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.
“For smart, new capital expenditure, the Government can move forward spending on Auckland’s City Rail Link – the number one transport priority for Auckland and a project that will employ hundreds and help reduce Auckland’s climate emissions from transport.
“The Government can also help schools reduce their power bills by investing $20 million into solar power systems in schools, allowing them to benefit from cheaper, cleaner power, leaving them with more money to invest directly into teaching and learning.
“Finally, the Government can create and invest capital in the Green Investment Bank. Such a bank would be a government-owned, for-profit bank that would partner with the private sector to speed the funding of new climate-protecting projects, ranging from renewable energy and biofuel production to new clean technologies.
“To date, National has proposed more spending on low-value roads, which will increase our emissions and slow our transition to a low-carbon economy. This is neither a smart way to stimulate the economy or address climate change.
“We don’t think John Key should rule out new operational spending, especially if it is high quality spending.
“During the last recession, National helped stimulate the economy by investing in the Green Party’s home insulation scheme, employing thousands and making 235,000 more New Zealand homes warm and dry.
“That high-quality spend helped move the economy out of recession while lowering the amounts of energy needed to heat our homes. For every dollar invested in insulation, there are $5 of health improvements, mostly to the public health system.
“The job is not done, however; there are still hundreds of thousands more homes to go,” said Mrs Turei.
Link to more information on the investment cases for the City Rail Link, Solar Schools, and the Green Investment Bank: