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Greens: Banks Should "Share The Love"

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Jeantte Fitzsimons
Jeantte Fitzsimons

29 January 2009 - The Green Party is applauding Kiwibank's decision to pass interest rate cuts from today's easing of the Official Cash Rate on to small business owners, farmers and home owners.

"I applaud Kiwibank's move to drop interest rates - after today's easing of the OCR to an historic 3.5 percent low - and expect other banks to follow its example," Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

Ms Fitzsimons is calling on the Government to make it a condition of its retail and wholesale guarantees that banks pass the full OCR reduction on to retail lenders.

"It must be a requirement that banks pass on these savings given the Government's underwriting of bank deposits and support going to the banking industry. If banks don't, then the Government must regulate to ensure they do.

"All these efforts to deal with the recession are misguided unless small and medium-sized businesses, home owners and farmers also get relief.

"Sheep farmers have been struggling with low commodity prices for some time now, and dairy farmers are starting to feel the pinch after some exceptionally good times. Small and medium businesses are the heart of the New Zealand economy and must see the full benefit of the OCR reduction," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"If taxpayers are going to support the banking industry then it must reciprocate, otherwise the cash rate cut won't have the desired economic stimulus effect."

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