27 Jan 2013

Jobs to be top priority for Labour

10:02 pm on 27 January 2013

The Labour Party leader has made jobs, housing, education and the economy his top priorities for the year.

In his first speech of 2013, David Shearer said the National-led Government has stood by and done nothing to deal with youth unemployment and unaffordable housing.

Mr Shearer told party members at the Wainuiomata Rugby Club rooms in Lower Hutt on Sunday that Labour would lead a much more active and hands-on government than National.

"Jobs are our number one priority. We have concrete ideas that will help, including creating thousands of jobs and training opportunities through our plan to put 100,000 families into affordable first homes," he said.

He said Labour will hold a housing conference this year so its policy to build those homes over the next 10 years is ready to go from its first day in office, if elected.

Mr Shearer said the party will also write its own white paper on how to lift 270,000 children out of poverty.

And he has asked his economic team to come up with a new plan to diversify the economy and ensure manufacturing also does well.