Treasury to National – You’ve got it wrong

Labour Leader Phil Goff has welcomed the release of a Treasury briefing today revealing that influential officials advised the National government that it would be wrong to scrap several key Labour initiatives when it came into power.

MEDIA STATEMENT

Treasury to National – You’ve got it wrong

Labour Leader Phil Goff has welcomed the release of a Treasury briefing today revealing that influential officials advised the National government that it would be wrong to scrap several key Labour initiatives when it came into power.

The Treasury briefing to the incoming Minister of Finance highlighted several Labour policies focused on lifting productivity and savings that, in its eyes, National should have retained.

- On removing Labour’s 15% R&D tax credit – “We recommend retaining the R&D tax credit at least for now”

- On scrapping Labour’s $700 million Fast Forward Fund – “Fast Forward has been successful at getting industry buy in and a very significant level of pledged industry funding…We recommend retaining Fast Forward”

- On directing 40% of Super Fund investment to New Zealand – “Is not the best way to grow New Zealand capital markets.”

- On reducing KiwiSaver minimum contributions to 2% – “Could reduce the level and adequacy of the retirement of some middle income earners”
“Could result in a large number of KiwiSaver accounts having small balances which could increase overheads and fees and reduce incentives for product innovation”

 On delaying and reviewing the structure of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) – “We consider the design of the ETS generally sound but suggest a couple of amendments that could be beneficially be made”
“The fact the Government released this briefing on a Friday afternoon is an admission it’s embarrassed,” Phil Goff said. “Treasury gave it responsible advice that key Labour’s policies were sound and worth retaining. For party political reasons they have ignored that advice despite costs to the country of doing so.
“It’s time National started making sound decisions to get New Zealand through the effects of the global recession. It should start by acknowledging Labour policies, which Treasury has clearly endorsed were on the right track.

“National should swallow its pride and admit it was wrong.”
ENDS

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