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Govt has no growth plan, Greens say

10:16 AEST Mon May 21 2012
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Economic mismanagement and poor policy choices have put the budget in a hole, the Green Party says.

Finance Minister Bill English is due to present a zero budget on Thursday, with little or no new money in it, and Greens co-leader Russel Norman says the government doesn't have any economic growth policies.

"Manufacturing has declined every year for the last three years," he said on Monday when he presented the Greens' alternative budget policies.

"There hasn't been any export-driven growth despite record commodity prices."

Dr Norman says far too much money is being spent on roads, which will encourage motorists to spend even more on petrol at a time when the price of oil is predicted to double in a decade.

Investment is still going into housing when it should be directed into manufacturing through a capital gains tax, he says.

"The government says there are no alternatives to its economic policies, but there are," he said.

"Selling our power companies is the worst way to go. They should be supercharged so they can develop clean, green energy technology we could sell around the world."

Dr Norman says "smart, green economics" is the way to go because the international market for sustainable products and clean energy technology is growing rapidly.

"The government has put the budget in a hole and New Zealanders are paying the price for that."