The Monthly Column

david shearerDavid Shearer Writes…

The Labour leader, David Shearer, has highlighted an average rates rise in Kapiti of  5.17 per cent among price increases which are stretching family budgets.

In his monthly column for the Kapiti Independent, Mr Shearer says his visits to communities throughout NZ always highlight worries about

the cost of living, the lack of local opportunities,and’ the growing divide between Kiwis who can afford to flick the heater on when the southerly hits and those who can’t.’

 

The cost of a National Government

By Labour Leader David shearer

Most weeks when Parliament is sitting I try to get out of the office once or

twice to visit communities across New Zealand and talk about the issues that

matter to them. I pop in to local businesses and shops; meet up with

community groups and visit schools to listen to their views on local issues.

It’s the part of politics that keeps you grounded and connected to the

people you’re here to represent.

There are always a few hot local issues, such as  rates debates or concern

about school closures. But conversations nearly always track back to the

basic issues – things like the cost of living, a lack of local opportunity,

and the growing divide between New Zealanders who can afford to flick the

heater on when the southerly hits and those who can’t.

 

Rising power prices are forcing families to make sacrifices that effect

their health and happiness. Those living in the greater Wellington region

are paying around $174 a month for power. From November 2008 to February

2013 retail power prices in Wellington have increased by around $302 per

year for the average household or 17% – that’s huge.

And anyone that does the weekly supermarket shopping will know that feeding

a family hasn’t got any easier, with the cost of groceries a big drain on

many families.

Add to that rising petrol prices – it now costs over $100 to fill up the

family car (50 litres) and will rise by three cents a litre again next month

courtesy of the Government’s fuel tax –  and an average rates rise in Kapiti

of  5.17 per cent, and household budgets start to look pretty stretched.

 

But instead of taking the wheel and driving our economy forward, National’s

approach over the past four and a half years has been to shrug off

responsibility, using the global financial crisis and the Christchurch

earthquakes as a crutch.

Labour wants to see local industry flourish because we understand that

growing the economy starts in the regions. If you want to work locally, we

want there to be options for you. That’s why we initiated an inquiry into

New Zealand’s manufacturing crisis. Too many jobs are being sucked out of

the provinces thanks to the Government’s failure to grow the economy.

Jobs are the number one priority. We have concrete ideas that will help

people get into work, including creating thousands of work and training

opportunities through our plan to put 100,000 families into affordable first

homes.

We’ll make sure Kiwi’s get a look in too, by asking businesses to prove

they’ve exhausted all options before bringing in workers from overseas.

We’ll also introduce a ‘one in a million’ rule for companies awarded major

government contracts to take on one apprentice for every $1 million of

taxpayers’ dollars they receive.

Your taxes should go towards your future; it’s as simple as that.

National’s economy isn’t working for all New Zealanders – and it should be.

The wage gap with Australia that John Key promised to tackle — is now so

large that Kiwis across the ditch earn a New Zealander’s weekly pay in just

four days.

 

The guts of it is this – National made promises it can’t fulfil and it’s

time they admitted they broke their word to New Zealanders. Kiwis want a

hands-on government that is willing to roll up its sleeves. Labour has a

vision that will get regional economies moving.