Stock market crises demand new thinking from Govt

The Green Party is calling on the Government to embrace new ideas to steer New Zealand away from global economic turmoil following stock market crises in China and the USA, or else risk repeating the mistakes it made in 2009-10.

“The Government’s response to the last financial crisis was to borrow billions of dollars and spend it on tax cuts for the rich and motorways with dubious business cases,’ Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said.

“Six years and billions of dollars later, our economy is on the wrong track. Tax cuts for the wealthy and massively increased dairy debt have not benefited everyday New Zealanders.

“The National Government must learn from its mistakes not repeat them.

“The Government needs to front up and explain to New Zealanders what risks to the New Zealand economy have arisen from global stock market crashes – are they expecting offshore investors to pour into ‘safe’ low-tax New Zealand property investments, or will overseas investors be pulling out of New Zealand to pay back debt at home?

“New Zealand households and businesses will feel the pinch from global economic troubles, and the Government owes them a plan that is more than just ‘wait and see and the market will balance out’.

“The Government should have been using the last few years as an opportunity to build economic resilience and put us in a better position for a rainy day, not just tell farmers to increase dairy debt and cut taxes for the rich.

“It’s time for new thinking around how to build a smart, green economy through research and development, investment in green infrastructure, and stimulating investment in clean technologies.

“The Government needs to show leadership with new economic strategy to get the economy back on track. We need a diversified export strategy that focuses on adding value to exports, not just basic commodities,” said Mr Shaw.