Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Goff on the economy

Labour leader Phil Goff gave a speech in Nelson today laying out his views on the economy. They were refreshingly left-wing. After attacking the government's record on the Cullen fund, KiwiSaver, GST and tax cuts, Goff talked about Labour's broad direction, including:

  • Revising National's tax changes to benefit the many, rather than the few;
  • The retention and if necessary restoration of a top tax rate, though with a higher threshold (around $100,000);
  • Taking a good look at removing GST from healthy food. While Goff favours simplicity, he has seen the evidence on the health benefits, and things it is worth serious investigation.
  • Broadening the Reserve bank's focus beyond mere price stability, while giving it more tools to influence monetary policy;
  • Restoring the Cullen Fund, rebuilding KiwiSaver and examining a shift to a compulsory scheme in the long-term;
  • Reforming the Overseas Investment Act to provide greater protection for strategic assets, monopoly businesses, and farm land;
  • Boosting R&D investment, with a particular focus on clean technology and renewable energy.

So a fairer, greener economy focused on meeting the needs of New Zealanders rather than foreign landlords and monopolists. Sounds good to me.