22 Oct 2008

Clark identifies policies that missed out because of financial crisis

11:52 am on 22 October 2008

Labour leader Helen Clark has identified three policy areas that have missed out on new initiatives as a result of the financial and economic climate.

Miss Clark announced on Sunday 19 October that Labour would not be releasing any more big-ticket policies during the election campaign.

On Monday 20 October, she reiterated her party would not be making any more big spending promises during the campaign.

She says she would have liked to announce new policies in primary healthcare, paid parental leave and the minimum wage, but it would not be prudent to do so.

Miss Clark says Labour's total focus is now on an economic stimulus package to help growth pick up.

Labour has already promised to phase in universal student allowances by 2012.

But its plans to extend paid parental leave to as long as six or possibly even 12 months now have to be put to one side.

Radio New Zealand's political editor says the economic situation is looking even worse than when the deteriorating state of the Government's books was unveiled just two weeks ago.

And with Labour criticising some of the National Party's spending promises it could hardly continue to roll out big spending items itself.