Investors, economists and prominent businessmen have all praised the new economic plan unveiled by National Party leader John Key this weekend.
Key’s proposed strategy to kickstart the New Zealand economy was announced yesterday in a speech to local party members at the Winter Palace restaurant in Parnell. Key has promised that if elected the government will provide unlimited liquidity to banks and other major businesses in exchange for 100% equity.
‘This will provide the stability and confidence that Kiwi business needs to compete globally in these troubled times,’ Key said.
In response to the ongoing crisis in the real estate market that has left many investors with negative equity Key has proposed another bold solution.
‘A National government will buy out the mortgage of every property in New Zealand, both business and residential,’ Key said. The news was met with cheers of support from the enthusiastic crowd of National supporters.
Business Round Table Director Roger Kerr welcomed National’s new scheme. ‘It’s about time we ditched the tried and failed socialist ideas of the Labour Party and moved on as a country,’ Kerr said.
Business commentator Bernard Hickey agreed. ‘This is a breath of fresh air after nine years of the outdated left-wing policies of Helen Clark and Michael Cullen. This is just what the New Zealand economy needs at this crucial juncture.’
Key elaborated on the details of the scheme, explaining that 100% equity businesses would be run by councils that reported back to a centralised ‘union of councils’. These would make business and investment decisions for the country.
‘We will be looking for the council union to try and plan in the medium term – say five years out,’ Key said.
‘At last we have someone with experience in the real world making practical decisions,’ Hickey told the Dim-Post. ‘It’s hard to see how this could go wrong.’
Some pundits remain wary of the scheme. Maverick investment analyst Gareth Morgan has refused to endorse the New Economic Policy, replying that it ‘just did not sound quite right,’ although Morgan has admitted he was ‘unable to put his finger’ on what was troubling him.
Although Finance Minister Michael Cullen has released a statement strongly criticizing National’s plans, the scheme has been met with cautious support by Green Party MP Kieth Locke, who offered to meet with Key and discuss his ideas for implementing the scheme.
Ross Wilson, the President of the Council of Trade Unions has also spoken out in favor of Key’s vision, altough he was dismissive about the National party plan to retrain members of the public service and redeploy them in the agriculture, construction and canal-building sectors of the economy.
John Key has replied to the negative reaction by admitting that some complaints about the policy were inevitable, but that once in government National had plans to deal with criticism ‘with surprising robustness’.