Internet-Mana has launched its campaign with an $8.6 billion promise to create 100,000 new jobs a year, full employment and to turn New Zealand into a "world-leading digital workforce".
The party says its Right to Work policy would help create 50,000 permanent jobs and 50,000 shorter term jobs, lasting between three and 18 months, a year over the next five years.
It would be paid for by redirecting a fifth of current ACC reserves as well as the employer and earner levies into a new "social insurance fund".
It’s focus included boosting the digital and Maori economies, improving job opportunities for those on the margins, partnering with community groups to develop community-based jobs and extending fast, cheap internet to all.
A national venture capital fund would be created to boost entrepreneurship, ICT apprenticeships established and “digital science” added to the school curriculum.
Internet Party leader Laila Harre said there was an “urgent crisis” with levels of unemployment and the policy would help “jolt New Zealand back to full employment”.
“We are very confident that a boost of this size - $8.6b over the next five years will generate a massive shift in our economy and that is the kind of shift that we need to create sustainable, long-term permanent jobs.”
Mana leader Hone Harawira said the policy was “the beginning of a great move towards filling the airwaves, filling people’s minds with a belief that we can do this”.
“What is there to be afraid of in saying we don’t just believe in full employment, we can deliver full employment. Absolutely we can.”
The policy was affordable compared with corporate bailouts and the untaxed income of the super wealthy.
Young people, those who have been unemployed for more than a year, Maori and students over the summer break would be prioritised.
National's economic development spokesman Steven Joyce said the announcement was "all part of the battle on the left to try and outspend each other with taxpayers money when we still haven't got into surplus yet".
"These Dotcom policies would be massively expensive for NZ - they talk of billions and billions more spending for free tertiary education and now community work schemes - which would have to go on top of the billions already promised by the Greens and Labour. The left's policies are completely unaffordable and would stall our recovery."
Joyce said taxpayer-funded make-work schemes were not the way to create long-term sustainable jobs.
"The way to grow jobs is to encourage businesses to invest and grow..."
- Fairfax Media
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