Economic Justice

Preamble

  • The biggest impediment to a just and equal society is an unrestrained capitalist system dominated by powerful multinational corporations.

  • The precedence of the drive for profits inevitably results in financial, economic and social crises.

  • The free market economy has failed the vast majority of New Zealanders. Workers’ spending power and pay rises have failed to keep pace with the growth of the economy.

  • Increased profits often come at the expense of waged and unwaged workers. The drop in wages in real terms for low-income workers, and benefit cuts that were designed to hold down wages, have meant that the gap between rich and poor in New Zealand has widened during the past 20 years into a gaping chasm.

  • Despite the apparent drop in unemployment, many have moved from benefits into part-time, casualised jobs with inadequate and uncertain incomes. Precarious employment and underemployment have replaced unemployment, leaving workers no better off.

  • The Alliance believes that all people have the right to work without exploitation, to have job security and to earn a living wage for themselves and their families.

We stand for the following policies

  • A policy of full employment and decent work.

  • Increasing the minimum wage to two-thirds of the average wage, the level set by the European Union Social Charter.

  • Abolition of youth rates and the introduction of the adult minimum wage for all ages.

  • Automatic wage rises to compensate for price increases.

  • Reversing the massive privatisation programme carried out under Rogernomics. We will re-establish the economic sovereignty of New Zealand.

  • Repeal of legislation such as the Reserve Bank Act the State Sector Act and the Public Finance Act that have entrenched market reforms and replace them with laws to enact a democratic and needs driven economy.

  • Opposition to private/public partnerships whereby private companies are allowed to make profits out of public works.

  • Control of foreign investment. A threshold of $10 million dollars before foreign business interests come under government scrutiny, as opposed to the current $100 million threshold. Criteria for the “national interest test” should be widened to include social well being, environmental sustainability, compatibility with the Treaty of Waitangi and economic sovereignty.

  • Purchases by overseas interests of 25% or more of the share capital of a company will only be allowed to proceed with Ministerial consent, and only if they are deemed to be in the public interest. Only New Zealand citizens and permanent residents or companies with more than 50% New Zealand ownership will be able to own land.

  • Economic planning for sustainable growth that satisfies human needs, rather than maximising profits. We support public accounting that uses both environmental sustainability measures and Genuine Progress Indices (GPI) to replace the misleading Gross Domestic Product (GDP).