Greens questioned over costs of new programmes

New Zealand Green Party MP, Gareth Hughes outs...

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Green Party candidate, Gareth Hughes, came under fire this evening at the Ohariu candidates meeting over Green spending promises to subsidise “green jobs” and to expand the Working For Families programme to include welfare beneficiaries.

A member of the public asked Mr Hughes whether the Greens had costed their policies together with Labour’s new spending initiatives if there was a Labour-Green coalition after Saturday’s election. Mr Hughes responded by saying it was “unfair” to be asked that question when the other parties also had costly initiatives.  He went on to claim that under the Greens new Capital Gains Tax, re-prioritising motorways spending (presumably cancelling Transmission Gully) and making farmers pay more in ETS costs would produce “$8billion” in new revenues for the government while the increased spending would be only “$4billion”.

Current MPPeter Dunne – said that jobs would come through business growth and recent tax reforms would help towards that.  In addition he wanted to see a reduction in red tape and compliance costs for businesses.

National candidate Katrina Shanks reiterated the party’s pledge to bring the government accounts back into surplus by 2014-15.

Mr Hughes was also questioned on the “thousands” of “green jobs” being promised and precisely where those jobs would come from. Mr Hughes explained that they would appear “if we encourage entreprenuers to live here”. Quite how entreprenuers would be encouraged through higher tax rates was unclear.

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