What's The Truth About Labour's Risky Industry Policy?

  • Dr Lockwood Smith
Associate Minister of Finance

The Labour Party should clearly state how much it intends to tax and spend on its risky industry policy, Associate Finance Minister Lockwood Smith said today.

"Its inconsistent public statements suggest Labour wants to tell the unions there would be a huge range of state interventions and taxpayer dosh. But it knows most businesspeople and exporters don't want the Government to butt in with extra high-tax dollars."

Dr Smith said Labour needed to clarify the matter in the interests of informed public debate.

"In its risky industry policy, released by Pete Hodgson on 5 October, Labour implied industry funding would reach $200 million almost immediately, with further increases after that.

"With current industry funding at approximately $100 million, National has sensibly taken that to mean a $100 million increase almost immediately.

"But when National included this $100 million figure in the taxometer last week, Michael Cullen mocked the costing.

"Given that uncertainty, Labour should now be honest with both its union buddies and the business sector. It should outline how much extra industry funding and corresponding tax increases it has planned for 1999/2000, 2000/2001 and 2001/2002.

"If it doesn't, it's more evidence of Labour trying to cynically bluff its way into power."