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Greens: Two Steps Forward For National, One Back

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Greens: Two Steps Forward For National, One Back

11 February 2009 - The Green Party has welcomed two planks in the Government's infrastructure package but says National has broken a recent promise on public transport.

"Spending money on building new schools and ICT infrastructure is definitely something the Green Party supports. But the extra money on construction must be matched by hiring new teachers," said Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today. "The Government needs to match its commitment to bricks and mortar with human capital."

Human services are the most labour-intensive areas of the economy, Ms Fitzsimons said, and supporting them would better balance the package that is otherwise heavy on the road and construction industries.

News that the Government will upgrade and renovate state houses was also welcomed by the Green Party but the commitment to build only 69 new homes was met with disappointment. "We want to see more honesty in politics and today National admitted that they have mislead the public about plans for state house insulation. The Government admits that the programme is already underway$53 million over five years for energy efficiency upgrades was a Green Party initiative in the 2008 Budget," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"What the Government should now add is a major programme of insulation for low-and-middle income private homesan investment that is more job rich than any other initiative announced in this package."

Meanwhile, National's plan to accelerate the building of new state highways without a single additional dollar spent on green alternatives breaks an earlier promise from John Key that any infrastructure spending would include public transport.

"Money spent on new roads generates less employment than money spent on fixing old roads or, even better still, money spent on increasing public transport services."

The package does not deliver on the Prime Minister's statement last year that his plan would "take into accountthe need for public transport."

"Investing in more roads, rather than better public transport services, will increase our oil dependence, increase our carbon emissions, and ultimately employ fewer people over the recession."

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