Labour promises to reopen Hillside

Labour is promising to re-open Hillside workshop and invest at least $250 million to rebuild Dunedin Hospital if elected.

The promises were made as Labour leader David Cunliffe toured Dunedin today, promising to make the city a ''knowledge and innovation centre''.

''A Labour Government will create 3000 more jobs in Otago by the end of our first term through our Economic Upgrades for forestry, manufacturing, fisheries, information technology and small businesses.''

''And local projects such as reopening and upgrading parts of the Hillside workshop will be able to access funding through our $200 million Regional Development Fund, aimed at supporting local projects which provide an economic step-change for their regions,'' Mr Cunliffe said.

He also promised to reverse ''years of neglect'' of Dunedin Hospital by the National Government and invest at least $250 million into rebuilding it.

In November 2012 about 90 Hillside Engineering Workshops employees were made redundant in the South Dunedin facility's partial closure, after KiwiRail failed to find a buyer for it.

That followed the redundancy of about 40 Hillside staff in 2011.

Subsidies tried and failed

Labour has some good policy like the fair pay for caregivers and a couple of others, but as long as they are promising to subsidise things like Hillside, forestry, insurance, electricity etc while attacking others like agriculture they are not a plausible option for Govt. They pose a real threat to the economic recovery if they start subsidising this sector and that while taxing other sectors as it creates an unnatural imbalance which will eventually correct itself anyway. Government intervention in the economy must be the absolute last resort as it always has perverse and unintended consequences. The housing crisis meets this test for intervention but insurance, power and forestry industries do not. Labour should stick to the social issues like the fair pay for care givers and they should be right. They might even get voters back from the extreme socialist Green party.

Don't fall for it

This is a typical sort of election bribe that is issued when a party knows damn well they are going to lose the election and can make wild promises, confident that they will never have to actually do it. Don't fall for this sort of talk - it's just nonsense.

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