Claire Trevett

Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

Leadership contenders promise a lot but caucus yet to sign off

Labour Leadership Election 2013. Labour MPs (from left) Shane Jones, David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson. Photo / Natalie Slade
Labour Leadership Election 2013. Labour MPs (from left) Shane Jones, David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson. Photo / Natalie Slade

All have claimed they will be a responsible hand with the Government's credit card, but Labour's leadership contenders, Grant Robertson, David Cunliffe and Shane Jones, have come up with a fair bit of policy on the campaign trail ranging from lifting taxes to tree planting schemes, building railways and cracking down on supermarket pricing.

While some is Labour policy, much is yet to be agreed to and signed off by caucus. Mr Cunliffe and Mr Robertson have pledged to phase in a minimum $18.40 an hour wage for all workers in the Government sector and Government contractors - such as cleaning companies.

Mr Cunliffe has provided costings on that, but only for the first year and only for the core public service, not schools or hospitals. He has costed that at $20-$30 million a year - a figure John Key said was unrealistic. Mr Cunliffe said he had calculated the figure using the total number of staff in relevant salary bands for Government departments that made up about 60 per cent of the public service.

Promises, promises...

Shane Jones

* "I will not write one single cheque the Labour Party cannot cash."
* Increase minimum wage.
* Review supermarket duopoly pricing practices, regulate if necessary.
* Tax incentives for business to invest in the regions.
* Develop regional infrastructure such as extending rail link to NorthPort.
* Make Ports of Auckland co-operate with regional ports in return for Auckland transport such as rail loop.
* Set up a Pasifika TV station.
* Work toward pay equality.
* Scrap Puhoi-Wellsford "Holiday Highway".
* Include Australians in restricting foreigners buying property.
* Halt asset sales and set up single Crown entity.
* SkyCity Convention Centre: Doesn't like it but reluctant to break a contract.

David Cunliffe

* Immediate rise in minimum wage to $15 per hour.
* Raise income tax for highest earners.
* Raise trust tax to match, to ensure trusts aren't used for tax evasion.
* Phase in living wage of $18.40 an hour across govt and all govt contractors.
* "Fine tune" Labour's policy to raise super age to 67.
* Repeal National's employment relations laws and set up industry standards agreements.
* Government partnerships on regional projects. For example, Rail link to NorthPort.
* Set up a civilian conservation corps to use carbon credits to subsidise planting of trees.
* Scrap Kapiti Expressway.
* Halt asset sales.
* SkyCity Convention Centre: Reserves right to change law.
* 50 per cent women in caucus by 2017.
* "Explore" Pasifika TV channel.

Grant Robertson

* Phase in living wage of $18.40 an hour across government and all government contractors over time.
* Immediate rise in minimum wage to $15 per hour.
* Repeal National's industrial relations changes.
* Reserve Bank must put more priority on employment when setting interest rates.
* Build up local manufacturing, such as wood processing.
* Halt asset sales, but buying them back not top priority and depends on fiscal circumstances.
* SkyCity Convention Centre: Reserves right to change law.
* Set up a summit of business, iwi and community leaders, government to be accountable to its findings.
* 50 per cent women in caucus by 2014.

- NZ Herald

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