Labour will run a surplus and pay down debt
End secondary tax
- Abolish secondary tax as it denies many New Zealanders access to wages they need to make ends meet.
Help young entrepreneurs to start their business
- Introduce a Young Entrepreneurs Policy, allowing any New Zealander aged 18 to 23 to apply for up to $20,000 to start a new business based on an innovative idea. They must have been through an accelerator business training programme, which will be paid for under the policy, have a business mentor and a business plan accepted by an independent panel of business experts.
Make multinationals pay their fair share
- Collect an extra $200m per year from multinationals currently avoiding their New Zealand tax obligations by resourcing IRD with an additional $30m per year to crack down on multinational tax avoidance.
- If multinationals aren’t prepared to pay their fair share, Labour will introduce a diverted profits tax, to enable New Zealand tax authorities to impose tax at a penalty rate if they believe that tax has been deliberately avoided.
Dole for apprenticeships
- Encourage employers to take on unemployed young people as apprentices by giving them a wage subsidy equivalent to the unemployment benefit.
Employ 10,000 young people off the dole to improve the environment
- Give unemployed young people a job for six months doing work of public value, so they can gain work experience and avoid long-term unemployment.
Raise the minimum wage to $16.50
- Boost the minimum wage to $16.50 an hour and base future increases on the real cost of living for people on low incomes. Over time, we will work towards lifting the minimum wage to two-thirds of the average wage as economic conditions allow.
- Be a good employer in government. All core public sector employees will be paid at least the Living Wage, at a cost of $15m, and this will be extended to contractors over time.
A workplace relations policy for higher wages and fairer conditions
Labour’s workplace relations package includes:
- Replacing the current National Government’s ‘fire at will’ law with fair trial periods that provide both protection against unjustified dismissal and a simple, fair, and fast referee service.
- Introducing Fair Pay Agreements that set fair, basic employment conditions across an industry based on the employment standards that apply in that industry.
- Promoting the Living Wage by paying it to all workers in the core public service, and extending it to contractors over time.
- Doubling the number of Labour Inspectors.
Tax back for companies doing research and innovating
- Introduce an R&D tax credit at the rate of 12.5%, to lift New Zealand’s lagging R&D expenditure by encouraging businesses to research and innovate.
Make sure the Government buys Kiwi-made whenever possible
Labour will ensure the Government focuses on creating more jobs:
- When Government organisations issue large contracts, they will have to choose the winning bid based on which creates jobs in New Zealand.
- When Government organisations issue contracts, they will have to design them so that companies focused on creating jobs in New Zealand have a fair chance of winning them.
$300m for priority infrastructure in Christchurch
- Establish a $300m capital acceleration facility to develop the red zone, contribute towards a new stadium and deal with the gaps in the horizontal infrastructure programme in partnership with the Christchurch City Council as part of the Global Settlement.
Safely re-enter Pike River Mine
- Allow safe re-entry to the Pike River Mine to allow the families to recover recover some of the men and find evidence of the cause of the explosions. That will help deliver justice and answers, and bring the men home to their families.
Flexible Tax for Business
- Introduce an entirely flexible voluntary withholding tax, to let businesses meet their tax obligations at a rate of their choosing and on their own timetable, rather than the current rigid system of provisional tax.
- Raise the threshold for businesses to pay provisional tax from $2500 to $5000.
- Remove late payment penalties on provisional tax.
Regional Development Fund
- Introduce a $200m to unlock the economic potential of as many regions as possible.
- Projects include:
- Working with Whanganui Council to repair and redevelop the city's port.
- Investing up to $20m to local development of a prefabricated housing factory and associated infrastructure in Gisborne.
- Rebuilding the Maniototo Base hospital in Ranfurly.
- Establish a Centre of Digital Excellence in Dunedin. See below for details.
Support the growth of software businesses in Dunedin
- Set up a Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE) in Dunedin. The Centre will build on existing gaming and digital businesses and the existing academic centres. CODE would cost around $10m over ten years and would have three main elements:
- set up a new Chair of Computer Gaming at Otago University
- accelerate existing digital start-ups with an incubator space that includes a motion- capture studio, access to publishing software & mentorship programmes
- establish a funding pool administered by private industry aimed at attracting young talent to the industry with post-school digital pathways and scholarships.
Future of Work Commission
- Review the Commerce Commission to ensure it is adequately resourced and fit for purpose
- Develop a Code of Practice in the supermarket industry to increase transparency and better protect consumers
- Criminalise cartels in line with other developed economies.
Monetary Policy - The Need for Modernisation and Reform
- Undertake a review of the Reserve Bank Act that protects its independence but ensures that monetary policy plays its part in meeting our economic goals
- Broaden the objectives of the Reserve Bank to include a commitment to full employment
- Change the decision making processes of the Reserve Bank to include external appointees and improve the transparency of the process.
Consumer Finance and Predatory Lending
- Conduct a Review of the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act
- Support and facilitate financial education in schools to ensure that all students leave school with an adequate standard of financial capability
- Increase funding to Community Law to make sure borrowers can access legal advice.
Information & Communications Technology
- Aim for ICT to be our second-largest contributor to GDP by 2025
- Aim to achieve digital equality across all divides by 2020
- Speed up access for all New Zealanders to world class broadband and telecommunications services, whether they live on the fringes of Auckland or rural New Zealand
- Build a more connected economy by updating legislation to give certainty to digitisation for industry, businesses and consumers
- Introduce a digital bill of rights to protect on-line rights, modernising our copyright laws and empowering digital citizenship
- Establish the position of Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
- Establish a $75m a year Tourism and Conservation Infrastructure Fund to pay for projects that will improve the experience of visitors to New Zealand and enhance our natural environment
- Provide this $75m a year of investment through a $25 per visit levy on international visitors who are not citizens or residents of New Zealand.
- Develop a seed investment scheme to support investment in small business.
- Introduce legislation to improve contractual protection
- Introduce legislation to provide protection for small businesses operating as franchises
- Create an assistance bureau as a single point of advice for small businesses
- Work with IRD, Department of Labour, to ensure that compliance requirements are reasonable and fit for purpose.