Christchurch must get dedicated revenue stream

Press Release – Green Party

A fund dedicated to the rebuild of Christchurch and paid for by an earthquake levy is a priority issue for this election, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.10 November 2011

Christchurch must get dedicated revenue stream for rebuilding fund

A fund dedicated to the rebuild of Christchurch and paid for by an earthquake levy is a priority issue for this election, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

Earlier this year, the Green Party proposed a nationwide earthquake levy to pay for the rebuild of Christchurch.

“The Green Party is the only party proposing a dedicated revenue stream that will be ring-fenced and used exclusively for the rebuild of Christchurch,” Dr Norman said.

“We consider that the fastest, fairest, and most economically sensible way to rebuild the livelihoods of those in Christchurch is to introduce a temporary earthquake levy on those who can most afford it.

“The people of Christchurch need assurance that all of New Zealand is backing the rebuild of their city.

“The Government has created the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Fund to pay for the rebuild, but it is borrowing to cover it. Our levy would fully cover the costs of the Recovery Fund over five years.

“A levy costs less. Compared to borrowing it would save tax payers more than $660 million dollars in interest payments over five years.

“A levy is the smartest funding mechanism for rebuilding Christchurch. The dedicated levy ensures the rebuild isn’t traded off against other spending priorities if the Government’s fiscal position comes under more pressure.”

The Government’s alternative to a levy has been the Earthquake Kiwi Bond. Parliamentary questions reveal that, as of 11 October 2011, only $13 million had been raised from the Bond issue.

“The Government’s option of an earthquake bond offer has so far raised 0.2 percent of the $5.5 billion required from the Crown to pay for the Christchurch rebuild,” Dr Norman said.

“A levy is the smartest way to help rebuild Christchurch as a world-class twenty first century eco-city which acts as an example to the global community,” said Christchurch based Green MP Dr Kennedy Graham.

“We have an opportunity here to rebuild our city using sustainable urban design for buildings, transport, energy, water and waste-management, and green spaces.

“Many residents are worried about their future and feeling forgotten. By instituting a nationwide levy they can be assured all of New Zealand is behind our rebuild,” said Dr Graham.
One-pager detailing the Green Party’s plans to rebuild Christchurch more fairly:
http://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/christchurch_one_pager_november_2011.pdf

Poll, a majority of New Zealanders support the levy:
http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/poll-shows-nz-supports-levy-christchurch

How the Earthquake levy will look in detail:
http://www.greens.org.nz/misc-documents/how-earthquake-levy-could-look

People earning $48,000–$70,000 a year would pay an additional 1.5 percent income tax, while those earning over $70,000 would pay an additional three percent. This would mean those earning $50,000 a year would pay an additional 58 cents per week, people earning $70,000 per year would pay an additional $6.33 per week, while people on $100,000 would pay an additional $23.59 per week.
ENDS

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