Sue Moroney: Fresh approach needed for jobs

By Sue Moroney, Hamilton MP


This time last year in this column I challenged The Government to get the local economy going.

I said 2012 was the year they had to turn the sluggish economy around and develop a plan for jobs.

They failed. The result was that thousands more people experienced the devastation that comes with losing your job, reducing your income or working harder to stand still.

And so Hamiltonians headed for Australia in droves. Families were torn apart and we exported those we paid to educate and train.

I said it had to get better in 2012, but instead it got worse as unemployment rose - as did the cost of living, while family incomes went backward.

What will it take for this Government to get busy instead of standing idly by shaking their heads and saying there is nothing they can do?

They missed the opportunity to train young New Zealanders to help with the Christchurch rebuild and are importing tradespeople to do that work instead.

We need a 'hands-on' Government who will roll their sleeves up and get involved. Standing back and waiting for the tide to turn all by itself is not acceptable.

Labour's plan to build 100,000 houses over 10 years is an example of a plan that will not only make home ownership more affordable, but will also create jobs.

It is these types of win-win initiatives, fresh thinking and can-do attitude that will get our ailing economy going again. But the Government won't consider it, because it's not their idea.

That's their right, after all people voted for them and they won the election, but they have to come up with new ideas of their own. Instead they are falling back on failed ideas from the past, like selling off New Zealand's profit-making assets.

Selling our power stations, dams and mines in the Waikato region won't create jobs. It is likely to cost jobs as it already has in the Huntly mines.

That idea will instead create wealth for foreign corporates who will get to reap the dividends that currently belong to all New Zealanders.

So, at the risk of it sounding like Groundhog Day, I have to repeat my plea from a year ago.

2013 must be the year the Government delivers a plan to kickstart the economy. Many Hamilton businesses and those who they employ are relying on it. No more excuses.

It's not too late to sign the petition to keep our assets. Visit my office at 430 Ulster St, Hamilton or check out www.keepourassets.org.nz.

- Hamilton News

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