National’s economic plan includes:
* a boost for superannuation. John Key said:
“Because superannuation is calculated on the average wage, our economic package and our commitment to maintain superannuation rates at 66% of the average wage will see a subsequent rise in the incomes of retired New Zealanders receiving superannuation.”
* enduring and affordable Kiwi Saver.
National Party Finance spokesman Bill English says changes announced to the KiwiSaver scheme are designed to ensure it is fair and affordable for New Zealand now and in the years ahead.
“National’s KiwiSaver package strikes the right balance between savings and supporting economic activity in today’s environment.
“National will ensure that KiwiSaver is accessible, and contains incentives, to enrol and retain as many New Zealanders as possible.
* no added borrowing and no service cuts:
National’s Finance spokesman Bill English says the party’s economic management plan begins to improve the Crown’s financial position and the longer-term productivity of the economy through careful revenue and spending initiatives.
“National will not slash spending at a time when people are looking to the government for a sense of security. In developing our economic management plan, we have concentrated on the fundamentals of the economy, and particularly on laying the foundations for a future increase in productivity.
“We are also beginning to peg back the operating deficits revealed in the pre-election fiscal update.
“New operating allowances will be the same for National over the next three years as they would be under Labour. National’s rebalancing of the tax system is self-funding and requires no cuts to public services or additional borrowing.”
* a tax package for the times. John Key said:
“Taxes affect decisions to work, save, spend, or invest, so tax can have a big impact on economic growth and future prosperity.
“Our tax policy is one of responsible reform. People want to know that valued public services will be protected and that effort will be rewarded. Business wants to know that competitiveness will be maintained and that consumer confidence will be supported.”
Mr Key has reiterated that the package announced today requires no additional borrowing, or cuts to frontline services to fund it.
“There is, in fact, a small saving to be made, of $283 million, which will be used to begin reducing the operating deficit.
National Party Leader John Key says the challenges facing the New Zealand economy require a focus on disciplined government spending and a plan for future growth.
. . . “The surest way out of the red ink is for the New Zealand economy to grow faster. I am absolutely committed to ensuring that happens, and today I am announcing tax and fiscal policies which demonstrate my intent.
“New Zealand’s economic recovery must be built on improved productivity and a better environment for investment in jobs and growth. To ensure this happens, New Zealand needs a government with a strong economic management plan.
“Our economic management plan will provide the needed fiscal stimulus while strengthening New Zealand’s position in the longer term by boosting economic growth.”
National’s plan has five essential components:
1. Improving productivity across the public sector by ensuring a strong focus on the provision of frontline services.
2. Stopping the massive rise in head office bureaucracy that Labour has encouraged, and we will deal with the regulatory and compliance issues that smother Kiwi businesses.
3. A programme of ongoing tax reduction. We will pass these tax changes into law before Christmas.
4. A step-up in infrastructural investment in vital national assets like roads and an ultra-fast broadband network.
5. An unwavering focus on lifting education standards. New Zealand simply can’t afford to tolerate the long tail of underachievement in our schools.
“I have always believed that given the opportunity to choose a path to a more successful, enterprising, and prosperous nation, New Zealanders would sign up to policies that would bring a brighter future. But with the current world economic situation, the choices have become starker.
“The Treasury forecasts released earlier this week paint a very bleak picture of the future, for a long way ahead, if we remain on our current course, if we keep our current policies, if we keep our current government.
“My colleagues and I are offering a very different way forward. It involves some clear choices. It requires us, as a nation, to be prepared to back ourselves. That is what the package that I have put before you today is about.”
Voters have been offered a clear choice – stick with Labour which got us into this mess, or opt for National which has a plan to get us out of it.
In commenting on National’s plan, Keeping Stock says:
Key’s comments on us, “as a nation, to be prepared to back ourselves” are excellent, and provide a strong contrast with Labour’s strategy – to go away and think about the situation some more – known in some circles as “paralysis by analysis”.
The choice is clear – the party of procrastination or the one of action.